Hundreds of people celebrated Lord's Department Store on Friday where they attended a celebration that will likely be remembered as the social event of the year.
The community gathered to say "thank you" and "goodbye" to the Kelly family -- June Kelly, Nancy Kelly-Lavin and Tom Kelly -- which has run the store for many years.
Editor's Note: Be sure to check out our photo gallery for hundreds of photos from the party.
The event included refreshments, a "Celebrate Lord's" cake, a string ensemble and a DJ, gift basket giveaways, photos at the Lunch Counter, "Lord's Through the Years" memorabilia and record audiovisual memories (with Medfield TV) for the Medfield Historical Society, a ginger ale toast, and as well as tributes and speakers.
- Superintendent Robert Maguire for the Medfield Public Schools who spoke of the Kellys' dedication to education and school activities, always selling tickets to the events.
- Brandie Morris, President of MEMO (Medfield Employers and Merchants Organization, which funded much of the event), who said the Kelly family had always been most generous to MEMO; and also said, "We're all going to have a gap in our lives when we can't stop in to Lord's."
- Veterans' Agent Ron Griffin spoke of the Navy service of Bill Kelly (long-time owner, and Nancy and Tom's father who died in May) and the importance the senior Kelly placed on veterans' affairs.
- Joe Ryan, veteran and lifelong friend of Bill Kelly, spoke about Bill Kelly's dedication to the business which started with him delivering Lord's opening day flier in 1940, and growing over the years. Ryan said, "That light was always on in that office until midnight and that was seven days a week."
- Richard DeSorgher, Town Historian, and lifelong resident, ." He gave a detailed history of the store starting with Founder Raymond Lord's misinterpretation of the census that showed Medfield's population to be 4,000 residents and a good place for a 5 & 10 store. In fact, half of that number were residents of Medfield State Hospital and not able to shop at the store. He described Bill Kelly as upbeat, always with a smile and sense of humor, and "the driving force behind Lord's." He said the store was the center of the "Andy in Mayberry" feeling of the town with a "Norman Rockwell" image.
- Longtime employee Barbara Bolzani who wrote a comical dedication to the store.
- Selectman Mark Fisher (accompanied by selectmen Ann Thompson and Osler Peterson) who read a proclamation naming Feb. 15, 2013 "Lord's Department Store Day" in the town of Medfield.
- Steve Kramer representing the Medfield Lions Club. Kramer presented the Kellys with three friendship banners for their dedication to the Lions.
- State Representative Denise Garlick (D) read a proclamation from the Senate and the House of Representatives acknowledging Lord's contributions to the community.
- Town Administrator Michael Sullivan offered a toast (actual toasted bread) to the Kelly family followed by thanks to matriarch June Kelly for her hard work and dedication to her family over the years. She was then presented with flowers by her four grandchildren.
- Police Chief Robert Meaney Jr., who served as Master of Ceremonies, offered a heartfelt ginger ale toast enjoyed by everyone in the store.
The Kellys thanked everyone for their patronage to the store over the years, and said the overwhelming response from the community (as was evidenced by the turnout on Friday night) was a tribute to their father and what he did to make the store the institution that it was.
Fox 25 News also attended the event and aired this clip on the 10 o'clock news Friday night. Anchor Mark Ockerbloom is a Medfield resident and longtime customer.