PORTLAND — Paul E. Kelley, 65, a retired police detective, died May 12 after a brief illness, surrounded at home by friends and family.

He was born Sept. 18, 1949, in Portland, to John F. Kelley and Catherine Rose Kelley. Paul attended St. Dominic’s grammar school, graduated from Portland High School, and then served in the U.S. Army National Guard.

He married Mary A. Quinn on Aug. 21, 1971, and the couple raised two daughters. Family would always be the first priority for Paul and his wife, and as his family grew, he looked forward to each new addition.

In 1971, Kelley joined the Portland Police Department, and proudly served the city of Portland for 27 years. During his time with the department, his duties ranged from foot patrol to serving as part of the Criminal Investigations Division. Early in his career, he later recalled, he spent one day as a dispatcher, the next day as a jailer, the third day as an ambulance driver, and the remainder of the week as an evidence technician.

Kelley was assigned to the CID at a tumultuous time in Portland’s history, and investigated crimes ranging from residential burglaries and car thefts to arson and bomb threats. He also was actively involved in most suspected homicide investigations, ultimately investigating over 83 such cases.

Kelley was proud of his work training other police officers, both at the PPD and at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro. He also was proud to have been associated with the law enforcement professionals of Portland, and often reflected fondly on his work and the lifelong friendships he formed as part of that community. He particularly remembered Michael Wallace, Meg Elam, Charlene Quilty and each of his partners in the department’s Detective Division.

Kelley retired from the Portland Police Department in 1998 and joined the University of Maine Police Force, before leaving law enforcement in 2000. But he continued to stay active in his retirement until last fall.

Coaching girls’ softball gave Kelley joy, and he was always happy when he donned his Little League Nine hat and headed to the field. He coached teams to Eastern Regional titles, two New England Regional titles, two runner-up New England Regional championships, and four Maine State titles. He treasured his players and the people they became, as well as the coaches with whom he shared the dugout, such as John Bay, Tony Bellino and Steve Newcomb.

Kelley was predeceased by a brother, Jack.

He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Mary; their two daughters, Debbie Kelley, of Portland, and Patricia Kelley Poulin, of Manchester; his son-in-law, Michael R. Poulin; his grandson, Matthew Paul Poulin; and his step-grandchildren, Michael J. and Molly E. Poulin. He is also survived by his brothers, Richard Kelley, of Dover, New Hampshire, and wife Kathy, and Sam Kelley, of Scarborough, and wife Jeanne; and many nieces and nephews.

Kelley’s family extends gratitude to Dr. Richard Marino for his expertise and guidance, and is deeply grateful for the care and support Stacy Giroux provided to him and his wife over the past several years.

A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated Monday, May 18, at Sacred Heart Church in Portland. Burial followed at Calvary Cemetery, South Portland.

Those who wish may make contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter, 383 U.S. Route 1, Suite 2C, Scarborough, ME 04074.

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