Mayor Gary Christenson, Ward 1 Councillor Peg Crowe and Director of Veterans Services Kevin Jarvis invite the public to remember and honor a true Malden hero of the Korean War. The dedication of the PFC Jeremiah J. Kelleher Memorial Square will kick off Veterans Day weekend on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 11 AM at the Corner of Newhall and Main Streets.
Jerry Kelleher was born on September 26, 1931 to immigrant parents from Ireland and was raised in Malden. He answered his Nation’s call to service, taking part in five different battles during the Korean War. Wounded in battle with gunshot wounds to both legs, he recovered in Japan and was sent back to his unit. During another battle he heroically saved four wounded comrades by carrying them one at a time from the battlefield while under enemy fire. Jerry was later awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Combat V for Valor for his heroism on the battlefield that day. Jerry would be wounded one last time in Korea when he was hit with shrapnel. He said that he was one of the lucky ones to come home.
Jerry returned to Malden following the war and married Roseanne Salie and together they had eight children. Tragically, Roseanne passed away suddenly at the young age of 37. Jerry later met Jean Preshong, and after getting married they raised their combined family of 12 children. They were married for 41 years. Jerry continued to serve his country as a Police Officer with the former Metropolitan District Commission and then with the Massachusetts State Police where he was honored to wear Badge #1 until retiring in 2006. Jerry was also the past president of the Malden Irish American, The Malden Eagles and The Organization of Clubs. Sadly, Jerry passed away in 2016 at the age of 85.
Released by the Office of Mayor Gary Christenson
Photos by City of Malden