Santa Fe Living Treasures – Elder Stories

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Daniel T.

Daniel T. "Bud" Kelly Jr.


Honored May, 2005

Daniel T. "Bud" Kelly Jr.

Bud (Daniel T.) Kelly Jr. was born in 1921 to a prominent and historically significant Santa Fe family, and then proceeded to make his own life prominent and historically significant as well. A lifelong resident of the city except when attending college and serving in the U.S. Army in World War II and Korea, he has expressed his love of Santa Fe in a remarkable number of ways.

He was a founding board member of St. John's College and the Santa Fe Opera, and has also served on the boards of the School of American Research, the College of Santa Fe, Santa Fe Prep, First National Bank, and the International Folk Art Foundation, among other organizations. An avid outdoorsman, he helped found both the Pajarito Walking Group and the Santa Fe Winter Ski Club. He founded and directed the Kelly Insurance Agency until retiring in 1982, and his firm specialized in underwriting cultural activities. One of the great pleasures in his career was presenting the Santa Fe Opera with a check for $100,000 within hours of the catastrophic 1967 fire, enabling the season to proceed in the old Sweeney Gym.