A LARGE turnout is expected on Tuesday (October 25) at the funeral of Roman Catholic deacon and former bookshop owner Louis Kelly, who died last week.

Rev Kelly of St Joseph's Catholic Church, Newtown Road, was well-known in the church community. He read at the Sunday Mass at St Joseph's, and carried out baptism and funeral services.

Before becoming ordained, he ran the Priory Bookshop in Church Walk for many years, where he also got to know many people.

Mr Kelly was born in Formby, Lancashire, and spent most of his childhood in Perthshire, Scotland. After attending college at Strawberry Hill, London, he did national service in the Royal Air Force, and then began a career in teaching.

His career proved successful, with teaching posts in and around Birmingham for many years, and culminated in the headship of a school in Croydon.

Retirement brought him to Malvern, where he was able to fulfil a lifelong dream of running his own bookshop.

"My father loved books," said daughter Elizabeth Cherry this week. "The house was full of them and he had been collecting them for as long as I can remember. He got to know so many people through the shop."

In 1999, he was ordained as a deacon, and subsequently played an important part in the life of the church.

"We've received so many letters and cards since he died," said Elizabeth. "He touched the lives of so many people."

Monsignor Pat Kilgarriff at St Joseph's said: "Louis was remarkably hard working, and did an immense amount of visiting the sick and housebound. He was very popular, and the children at St Joseph's School, and all the parishioners are shocked."

Rev Kelly passed away on Thursday, October 20, aged 85. He is survived by his wife Mary and children Elizabeth, Christopher, Michael and Clare.

The funeral service will be at St Joseph's, on Tuesday, October 25, at 11am.