July 3, 1980
William Edward (Ned) Kelleher, a former Kitchener car dealer, died early today of a heart attack at his home in La Costa, Calif., near San Diego. He was 61.
The funeral will be in Troy, N.Y. Arrangements are incomplete.
Kelleher owed Kaye Motors Ltd. (now Kaye Ford Sales Ltd.) from 1956 to 1972. He also owned Kaye Sales and Leasing Ltd. and Riordan Car and Truck Rentals in Kitchener.
He sold the car dealership in 1972 to Gordon L. Statham, but retained shares in all of his Kitchener businesses. While in Kitchener, the Kelleher family lived at 7 Hearth Cres.
Kelleher decided in 1976 to go back to school and obtain a bachelor of arts degree “to round out my life experiences.” He studied in Hawaii, Ireland and California and graduated June 15 from the University of San Diego. He had intended to begin post-graduate work in September.
A native of Troy, N.Y., Kelleher served in the U.S. Nave during the Second World War as a feature writer for the U.S. Armed Forces publication Stars and Stripes.
He grew up in a newspaper environment. His father Neil worked for two Troy daily newspapers. Kelleher wrote for his high school paper and later became one of the editors of a General Electric employee publication in Schenectady, N.Y.
He joined the navy in 1943 and, after a stint on the battleship USS California, became a reporter for the Navy News in Pearl Harbor in 1944. Then he was transferred to the Mid-Pacifican, which became the Stars and Stripes.
His assignments took him 15,000 miles and he wrote on everything and everybody from Gen. Douglas MacArthur to spending Christmas on Christmas Island.
After the war his ambition was to buy a Sunday weekly newspaper in upper New York State. The government wouldn’t approve a load and he became a car salesman.
In 1950, he became general manager of a Ford dealership in Flushing, part of New York City. Four years later, the Ford Motor Co, sent him to manage a dealership in Halifax.
The he heard of an opportunity to buy a Kitchener dealership operated by Bruce Weber. He bought the dealership in 1956 and “fell in love with Kitchener”.
In addition to running his business, he was the host on two television shows and served as chairman of the industry relations committee of the Federation of Automobile Dealer Associations.
Surviving are his wife, Helen (Maggi), four sons, Tom of Kitchener, William Edward Jr. of Halifax and James Bruce and Connor of La Costa, and two daughters, Mrs. Joanne McKeowen of Milverton and Helen of California.
Also surviving are two brothers, Neil of Troy, former speaker of the New York legislature and a senior member of the legislature, and Donald of Norfolk, Va.