Ritchie Bill Naming Part of NYS Route 37 After Beloved Journalist, Advocate Charles "Chuck" Kelly Passes Senate

Patty Ritchie

June 13, 2019

State Senator Patty Ritchie is announcing legislation she introduced to name a portion of State Highway 37 in Ogdensburg, the “Charles ‘Chuck’ Kelly Memorial Highway” has passed the Senate. The beloved journalist and advocate for the North Country passed away last October at the age of 83.

“Chuck Kelly will forever be remembered for being a true champion for the North Country.  His contributions as a journalist and an advocate for our region have made Ogdensburg and the entire region a better place to live,” Senator Ritchie said.

“In renaming a portion of Ogdensburg’s main roadway in his honor, we are ensuring people can reflect and will never forget the impact his efforts and his example have had on most everyone who drives it.”

Senator Ritchie’s bill (S.1827) calls for the portion of roadway from the intersection of New York State Route 37 and New York Avenue in the City of Ogdensburg to the intersection of New York State Route 37 and New York State Route 37-A to be named in Chuck Kelly’s honor.

Kelly spent 56 years of his life as a journalist, working each day for his readers, ensuring they were up-to-date on the issues that were most important to their lives, and serving to keep government accountable. 

Kelly also won numerous awards for his work, using the relationships he cultivated along the way to help the city of Ogdensburg achieve success. He was instrumental in efforts to locate new state correctional facilities in Ogdensburg, as well as successfully helping keep the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility from closing in 2011.  He also fought alongside local leaders to prevent the closure of the St. Lawrence Psychiatric Center in 2013.  It was because of his strong advocacy for these facilities that Senator Ritchie specifically selected the portion of New York State Route 37 that runs in front of them to be named after Chuck Kelly.

In addition to being a journalist, Kelly served his country as a member of the United States Army and during his service was stationed overseas in both Germany and France.  

Kelly also served on the boards of numerous organizations including the Ogdensburg Boys and Girls Club, the St. Lawrence County Cancer Society, the Ogdensburg Volunteer Rescue Squad, the Greater Ogdensburg Chamber of Commerce, the A. Barton Hepburn Hospital Development Council and Foundation, Ogdensburg Catholic Charities, the Ogdensburg Recreation Commission and the St. Lawrence Eastern Ontario Commission to which he was appointed by then Governor Hugh Carey, among many others.