CHICAGO – E. Paul Kelly, the father of Chip Kelly, passed away on Friday night, the 49ers coach confirmed Sunday afternoon. He was 87.
Kelly flew from Chicago to the northeast late Friday after learning of his father’s death. He returned for Sunday’s game at Soldier Field. The 49ers lost their 11th consecutive game, a 26-6 defeat to the Bears.
When asked if he considered not coaching in the game, Kelly told CSNBayArea.com, “My mom wanted me to coach.”
Kelly said the team was making travel plans to send him back to be with his family, including his mother, Jean, and three brothers.
General manager Trent Baalke informed the 49ers’ players during a meeting Saturday morning in Chicago.
Paul Kelly was a retired trial lawyer and a member of the New Hampshire Bar from 1960 to 2000.
In a 2009 profile on the Kelly family in the Oregonian, Paul Kelly was described as “cerebral, successful and competitive.” The article states that throughout Chip Kelly's childhood, his father preached, “Deeds, not words.”
The 49ers released a statement from Baalke on Sunday evening, as the team prepared for its trip back to the Bay Area:
“The thoughts and prayers of the entire San Francisco 49ers organization are with Chip and his family as they face the difficult process of grieving the loss of a loved one. Understandably, coach will take some time to be with his family before returning to the team this week. Chip has our continued support as he mourns the passing of his father.”
According to his obituary, which ran in the New Hampshire Union Leader, Paul Kelly taught the four Kelly rules to his kids at a young age:
Rule #1 - Have fun!
Rule #2 - Stick together!
Rule #3 - Love Mom!
Rule #4 -&%$*# Dad!
“Paul also had a great sense of humor,” his obituary read.
The service will be held on Tuesday in Portland, Maine.