Thomas Patrick “Pat” Kelly, 87, of Peru, passed away on Sunday, June 27, 2021 at Hickory Creek Nursing Home in Peru.
He was born in Peru on March 19, 1934 to a star of the big top, world famous tramp clown Emmett Kelly Sr. and Eva Mae (Moore) Lewis. He spent several of his school years in Peru, as well as St. Louis, Houston, and Chili, Indiana. Pat joined the United States Marine Corp in 1953 and returned to Peru in 1956, where he held a number of jobs, including being a grill cook and a night clerk at the YMCA. However, throughout his military career and several jobs and many travels later, one occupation remained consistent … clowning. While in the military, he was paid to entertain the troops. After his service, he toured with the Shrine troupe and later the Hamid-Martin Circus. He extensively toured the United States and Canada for many years, before ultimately returning to Peru and calling the International Circus Hall of Fame home. Throughout his later years, Pat could still be found performing, participating in parades and festivals.