Born in 1951 in Aylmer, Quebec, David Kelley began working for the Ottawa Youth Services Bureau upon graduation from Carleton University in 1972. It was at the bureau, in 1977, that he met Tom Stewart, the man who would be his life partner for 19 years. Upon moving to Toronto, David worked professionally with a myriad of organizations, including Central Toronto Youth Services, the Ministry of Community and Social Services, the Ministry of Health’s AIDS Bureau, and the People With AIDS Foundation (where he spent a year as Executive Director).
As a volunteer he was an integral part of a staggering number of organizations, both as a founder and participant: Coalition for Services for Gay and Lesbian Youth, Gays and Lesbians in Health Care, Toronto Area Gays and Lesbians, the HIV Mental Health Group, the United Way, AIDS Committee of Toronto, and Positive Youth Outreach. With Tom, he founded a Gay Men’s Couples Support Group, and a Gay & Lesbian Bridge Players Group. As a volunteer with the Lesbian Gay Community Appeal, he was an early supporter of the Appeal’s Fruit Cocktail productions, and performed in four of those productions as The Apple.
David Douglas Kelley died of AIDS on April 25, 1996. In keeping with his generosity and unrelenting support to the community, he bequeathed money to the Toronto Counselling Centre for Lesbians & Gays, which merged with the Toronto Family Services Association, and now offers services to the gay, lesbian and HIV communities known as the David Kelley Program. It is a wonderful and fitting tribute to his life and work.