Cover photo for Jon Kelly's Obituary
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1938 Jon 2021

Jon Kelly

September 24, 1938 — September 30, 2021

Jon Robert Kelly passed away peacefully September 30, 2021. Born September 24, 1938 in Broxton, Georgia to James and Helen (Good) Kelly, he spent his childhood in Columbus, Indiana. After graduating from Columbus High school in 1956, he earned a BS degree in Industrial Economics from Purdue University.

Jon then began a life-long career in the world of sound engineering. Beginning at Electro-Voice, Inc. in 1960 and moving through the decade in various positions there, he was approached in 1972 to become Co-Founder, Vice President and General Manager of Audio-Technica US, Inc. This was a unique position forming the US component of a Japanese company. By 1978 he was deemed President of ATUS where he began to build a new US headquarters in Stow, OH. By 1980 ATUS was thriving at the new location and the company grew to over 75 employees by the time he retired in 1993.

The arts meant as much to Jon as did the world of sound. His efforts to raise awareness and donations benefited Tuesday Musical, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Ohio Ballet, Weathervane Theater, Summit Choral Society, and Akron Arts Alliance.

He also had a penchant for the unusual. Jon loved the art of printing and filled his basement with presses and auxiliary items, tinkered with grandfather clocks, and couldn't resist bringing home Asian art and odd artifacts from his travels. He loved watches and cuff links! He never met a dog he didn't like.

Jon had a strong interest in Junior Achievement. With help from employees at AT, he sponsored a high school group for many years. It was in 1985 that he met his future wife, Martha Stephenson March, a teacher who served as the center manager for the Audio Technica Junior Achievement team from Hudson High School. Jon and Martha celebrated 31 years of marriage in April 2021.

Preceded in death by his parents and his younger brother, Fred, Jon will be missed by sister-in-law Jeanette Kelly Bell of Atlanta, nephew Jack Kelly of Los Angeles, and the many members of the Stephenson family.

There will be no calling hours. A celebration of life will be held at a future date.

To honor Jon's memory, contributions can be made to any of the charities listed above.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jon Kelly, please visit our flower store.


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