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Posted By Whitney & Murphy On July 15, 2019 @ 2:21 pm In Obituary | 29 Comments

Wally C Kelly obit

On the night of July 11, 2019, Wally Christopher Kelly, 62, passed away at his home in Phoenix, Arizona. He was reunited with his father, Wally; his mother, Crissy; brother Michael; grandparents, and many, many dear friends into the arms of our Lord. He will forever be dearly missed by his son, Beau, his stepchildren Hannah, Ashley, and Parker, his wife Amy, sisters Jennifer (Bill) Ingram of Twin Falls, Idaho; Diane Steinmetz of Boise, Idaho, many nieces and nephews, and dear friends and colleagues.
Wally was born in Pocatello, Idaho to Wally and Crissy Kelly on August 4, 1956. He was baptized into the Catholic Church and would remain a dutiful servant of our Lord for his entire life. He attended Highland High School in Pocatello, Idaho, where he upheld the family legacy of athletes and was recognized as an outstanding athlete as a 3-year letterman with two state championships. Wally’s love of football earned him a scholarship to Idaho State University in 1974, where he would earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and Physical Education. Eventually he would attend the University of Utah and obtain a Master’s of Science Degree in Physical and Special Education.
A Spring Break vacation to Tucson, Arizona would prove to be the beginning of a lifelong career in the billboard advertising business. Wally served as a national sales manager for Whiteco MetroCom, Inc. from 1979 to 1984, which was based in Chicago, Illinois. Whiteco had outdoor billboards in 34 states, including such markets as Chicago, Dallas, Orlando, Fla., Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Providence, R.I. His years in Chicago created a lifelong love for his Chicago Bears football.
In 1984, Wally and colleague Arte Moreno were recognized by local entrepreneur Bill Levin, who offered them to collaborate to develop local sales campaigns. This dynamic duo would impact the outdoor advertising business and lead to the development of a media empire. This union established Outdoor Systems, which became the #1 company within its industry. Their outdoor system had a presence in 96 of the top 100 US advertising markets. Wally held the position of Executive Vice President of Sales for Outdoor Systems, which employed over 1600 employees for 5 years. In 2001, the company was sold publicly and became Viacom Outdoor, through the merging of Infinity Outdoor, a national billboard company, and TDI, a national transit advertising company. The combination of the companies created the largest outdoor advertising company in North America. In 2003 he was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, overseeing the US, Canadian, Mexican and European markets. In January 2006 Viacom would be publicly traded and renamed a CBS Corporation, CBS Outdoor, with Wally holding the position as CEO. CBS Outdoor would become a billion-dollar company. In 2013 CBS would be publicly traded once more and be renamed Outfront Media, where Wally would serve as Vice President and consultant for a short while. His enormous expertise in media and advertising allowed him to begin anew with Superior Digital Displays located in New York City, where he served as CEO. Consecutively from 2014 to 2017 he acted as CEO for the Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission preparing and directing financial or regulatory reports required by laws, regulations, and boards of directors. Wally Christopher Kelly would prove to be one of the nation’s greatest influencers in the Outdoor Advertising Industry. He was a three-term chairman and Geopath (Traffic Audit Bureau), as well as Hall of Fame Inductee of the Outdoor Advertising Association of American (OAAA) receiving the Myles Standish Award in 2007, the highest recognition award within the industry.
At the time of his death, Wally was consulting for many reputable media companies throughout the US. He developed successful restaurants within Arizona and was a pioneer in developing the entertainment district of Old Town Scottdale, Arizona.
Not only a businessman, Wally was first and foremost a family man. In 1998 Wally welcomed his son, Beau William. In 2004 Wally married Amy and her three children Hannah, Ashley, and Parker would create a beautiful family together. His love of sports reflected through his children and he was directly responsible for his son Beau and Parker’s success. His proudest accomplishment was watching Beau play football for Portland State University, as both Beau and Parker achieved national recognition for their athletic abilities as a result of his direction. He was especially influential in supporting the equestrian career of his daughter Ashley.
Wally’s love of sports was a constant in his business career as he served as a Director on the Boards of the College Football Hall of Fame, the Fiesta Bowl, and Arizona State University. Wally generously supported the Idaho State University football program and the Kelly Family Fifth Year Scholarship Program. He endowed football scholarships honoring his late brother, Michael, and father, Wally, which awarded him the President’s Medallion of Recognition. In honor of his late brother, Michael, he brilliantly created a golf tournament, the Mike Kelly Memorial, with the sole purpose of donating their proceeds to support football programs within their local community. In 2004 Wally was awarded the honor of the Distinguished Arizonan Award. Wally was a ‘LifeBird’ serving the Phoenix Thunderbirds and created a special day honoring the Special Olympic Athletes during the Waste Management events. Youth sports were dear to his heart as he coached numerous young athletes in basketball, football, and baseball.
We will celebrate the remarkable life of #13 on Friday, July 19, 2019 at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 5045 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix, Arizona. A Rosary will begin at 9:00 A.M., followed by a Funeral Mass in his honor at 10:00 A.M. A reception will follow. We will miss him every minute of every day for the rest of our lives. He was larger than life. He was “Our Superman”.
Donations may be made in Wally C. Kelly’s honor to Special Olympics Arizona, 5601 W. Mohave Street, Suite C, Phoenix, Arizona 85043.

Condolences for the family of “KELLY, WALLY CHRISTOPHER”

Condolence from Michael Sheedy on July 15th, 2019 2:39 pm

Will dearly miss you my friend! Rest easy.

Condolence from Kristen Hill on July 15th, 2019 3:25 pm

May the love of family and friends surround you and embrace you as you find strength and peace through this painful time. Sending you all a warm embrace.

Condolence from Terri Benton on July 15th, 2019 3:28 pm

Kelly family…so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to each of you and hope you will eventually find comfort in the wonderful legacy he left behind.

Condolence from Anne Marie Nelson on July 15th, 2019 3:30 pm

My thoughts and prayers are with Wally’s wife and four children. God bless you all.

Wally Kelly was one of the most influential people in my life and I will truly miss him. He always treated me with kindness and respect and he taught me so much about business in the OOH industry. Thanks to him I have had such a successful career even after leaving Outdoor in 2014. Wally will never be forgotten and his legacy will live on in all of us who knew and loved him.


Condolence from Joe Bridges on July 15th, 2019 3:51 pm

I am honored to be called your friend. You will always be missed.

Condolence from Laurel on July 15th, 2019 4:59 pm

All my love and deepest sympathy to Amy, their children, Wallys entire family and friends. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful man. Laurel

Condolence from Michelle Smith on July 15th, 2019 5:59 pm

Deepest condolences Amy…sounds like he was a beautiful soul who did amazing things. RIP

Condolence from Kerry Gilmore on July 15th, 2019 6:20 pm

My condolences to all the Kelly family. What an untimely and unbelievable event. Wally was my neighborhood friend since elementary school, teammate and college roommate. All memorable times. Wally worked hard and achieved great things. He lived large and loved life! He’ll be remembered well by all that call him a friend.

Condolence from T.R. Riener on July 15th, 2019 11:43 pm

I was sooo outside his “sphere of influence,” but I got to tell him a short while ago, as a Cork ‘N Cleaver alumni since 1973 @the Dayton Ohio Cork how honored I was to be an acquaintance of his & his efforts to help Dennis “Bird” Conrey during his struggles the last time I saw Kelly @ Arcadia Tavern recently…When you go through Life & people can say “he was a good Family man,” Life is Grand….

Condolence from Steven Tosches on July 16th, 2019 4:25 am

Former teammates / long lost friends – many fond memories of ISU days / one of a kind! Rest in Peace.

Condolence from Pattie Fuller on July 16th, 2019 8:04 am

Wally was a dynamic man and a true gentleman. He will be greatly missed. We ask ourselves why? My son summed it up just before he died. He said “Mom I am a warrior and God needs warriors to fight the evil in the world.” Wally was a warrior and he will be leading the fight and leading the army of warrior Angels. God needed his help.

Condolence from Marbs on July 16th, 2019 8:04 am

To all the Kelly Family. Peace be with you all. I / we wlll all miss Wally. Great BENGAL! Great Man! PEACE Wally


Condolence from Joe F. Thombley, Jr. on July 16th, 2019 4:50 pm

I met Wally in 1992 when Outdoor Systems bought Naegele in Columbus, Ga. He and I became friends and worked together until he left OUTFRONT. It was their loss as he knew our business better than most and always will. We had many great times together golfing, going to baseball games talking sports particularly about Auburn University my school and just being together as a founding part of Outdoor Systems. My wife Ann and I are so sorry for your loss and I will miss him greatly. Y’all are in our thoughts and prayers.

Joe and Ann Thombley
Auburn, Al.

Condolence from Jeff and Cindy Edwards on July 16th, 2019 8:34 pm

Amy and Beau and all of Wally’s family our heat goes out to you in the loss of a Great Man and friend to my husband Jeff Edwards. We were fortunate to have the company of Wally and Beau stay with us while they stayed here for the Fat tournament Jeff believes that was something that was supposed to be!

Condolence from Barbara Verrone on July 17th, 2019 6:10 am

My thoughts and condolences to the entire Kelly Family. To me, Wally was a classy guy. Even though I was at the lower end of the totem pole in the outdoor division, every time I visited Phoenix, Wally always took the time out to see me in his office and greet me with a big hug and smile. RIP Wally.

Condolence from Cindy Marlatt Wellard on July 17th, 2019 7:14 am

What a great man and friend he was. Always smiled no matter what. Prayers to the family. RIP Wally

Condolence from Sheila Gustaveson on July 17th, 2019 8:10 am

Went to school with Wally way back then. He was a superstar then and it appears he kept excelling. My sincere condolences to his family.

Condolence from Diana Barrus on July 17th, 2019 8:48 am

God bless the Kelly family. RIP Wally.

Condolence from Ivi on July 17th, 2019 11:15 am

Our thoughts, prayers and all our lover are with you.
George and Ivi

Condolence from Brian, Randi, and Chad Christel on July 17th, 2019 1:38 pm

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and loved ones. Wally was a unique individual that touched many lives both personally and professionally.
A special thanks to him for his commitment and dedication to youth sports in the area. His passion and teaching touched many kids/families and his generosity was appreciated. During this difficult time, remember all the great memories and the time he gave to all.

Condolence from Ann Green on July 17th, 2019 2:13 pm

Sincere condolences to all who knew Wally.
I to graduated high school with him.
You just knew he would make his mark in
this life. R.I.P. you have made the world a
better place.

Condolence from Greg “Smitty” Smith on July 17th, 2019 3:24 pm

Prayers to Beau, Amy and the rest of the family. I loved you Wally “Kingo” Kelly. The times we shared on and off the field. You taught me so much about life,football, friendship. I will miss you and never forget you.

Condolence from Sheri and Bob Frasure on July 17th, 2019 5:58 pm

To the family of Wally,
Bob and I are so sorry for your loss. We had special moments with him and all of you. He was certainly fun and generous. We especially enjoyed the invites to the Waste Management turnys with Crissy and Leo. We will never
forget those three years in the best seats in the house! Wally took care of Crissy in the ways that made her so proud, and happy. Her heart would have been broken in a million pieces for the third time. At least they are all together and she can enjoy her boys once again. Since we have been long time family friends of the Kellys’, we want to extend our sorrow to Diane and Jen and their families. I am so sorry for the kids , Beau, Parker, Hannah and Ashley as they have lost such a great man.

Condolence from Sandy Davies Lee on July 18th, 2019 5:10 pm

So very sorry for your loss. I went to high school with Wally. He was not only a nice guy, a friend to everyone, he was a very committed athlete, especially football. Gone too soon. RIP #13.

Condolence from BILL HORROCKS on July 18th, 2019 9:42 pm

Words cannot express my feelings after hearing about Wally. Many great memories spending time with all the Kelly family. R.I.P. Wally.

Condolence from donna legate on July 19th, 2019 4:56 pm

Amy and family. This is Brett’s mother, Donna. I am so sorry to have missed the service today. Brett said it was very special. Wally was a household name for many years as he was a wonderful friend to Brett starting at his young adult life and beyond. Brett looked up to Wally and always enjoyed his time with him. Wally’s mother told me that Brett was like a brother to Wally, and I know Brett felt the same way.

Brett was so upset that he did not get a chance to speak to Wally when he called, but I was so happy that he spoke today and I am sure Wally was listening to this final conversation.

God bless you and your family.

Condolence from Charles Antanavage on July 20th, 2019 2:07 pm

So sorry for your family and dear close friends. The mass was beautiful. I will always cherish the memory of that mass and gathering.

Charles Antanavage
Friend of Will Schollaert

Condolence from Valorie Watkins on July 21st, 2019 2:48 pm

My heart is broken to hear of Wally’s passing and your terrible loss. To Amy and Wally’s chilldren and Diane and Jennifer, my heartfelt sympathy. While we weren’t close in recent years, the Kelly & Wilson families were close growing up. Our Mothers, Dorothy and Crissy were like sisters. And some of those connections continued with the next generation as Wally and my sister, Jody, became Godparents to my first daughter, Jennifer. It was such a joy for me to see Wally – and meet Beau – when they were in Pocatello for the FAT golf tournament. Wally was such a force and was so exceptionally proud of Beau. I’ll be cheering for him when he comes back to Pocatello with Portland State to play ISU. We know Wally, Crissy, Mike, and Wally, Sr. are up above cheering for him , too.

Condolence from Steve Garner on July 21st, 2019 6:04 pm

My sincere condolences to Wally’s family. Our prayers are with you! May he know the blessings of God, and be united with his parents and brother once again. God’s blessings to all of you!

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