July 23, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
76°F

Founder of Bil-Jac premium pet food dies at 95

William Kelly, founder of the premium pet food maker Bil-Jac Foods, died on Friday at his Granger Township home. He was 95.

Kelley served as chairman of the board for the company he founded with his brother Jack in 1947. Bil-Jac, based in Medina, sells pet food products worldwide and has a production facility in Medina and Berlin, Md.

William Kelly

Kelly was an active part of the local community.

He served for more than 35 years as a board member of Medina General Hospital and was a founder of the Medina General Hospital Foundation in 1990.

Randy Fuerst, who serves as executive director of the Foundation, said Kelly and his wife, Ruth, who died in 2012, were instrumental in establishing the foundation.

“He and Ruth made the first sizeable donation to get the foundation rolling,” Fuerst said. “It’s had a cumulative effect over 23 years.

“It really helps support the programs we offer at the hospital.”

Fuerst also praised Kelly’s commitment to education. He said Kelly and his wife have maintained a scholarship fund for students hoping to pursue a degree in medicine.

“He had a longstanding passion for education and the community and they were very supportive,” Fuerst said. “Those successes will be their legacy.”

Kelly’s commitment to education also included 12 years of service on the Highland School board, including six years as president.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday at Granger United Methodist Church, 1235 Granger Road, Medina.

Pastor Doug Lewis will officiate followed by burial with military honors at Granger-Fairview Cemetery.

The family will receive friends 2 to 8 p.m., Thursday at Waite & Son Funeral Home, 765 N. Court St., Medina. Memorial contributions may be made to Granger United Methodist Church, 1235 Granger Road, Medina, OH 44256 or Hospice of Summa, 444 N. Main St., Akron, OH 44310.