Christopher Shawn Kelley
Christopher Shawn Kelley

Architect Christopher Shawn Kelley, AIA, passed away on Saturday May 26 at the age of 39.

Kelley graduated from the University of Florida with honors, earning a Bachelor of Design in 1995 and then a Master of Architecture in 1997 from the school. An active member of the AIA, he went on to become the first regional associates director from the Florida and Caribbean Region for the AIA’s National Associates Committee. He continued his service to the architecture community through his efforts in helping to lead the Young Architects Forum where he served as chairman in 2009.

Kelley worked for two firms during his 15-year professional career, first at Ruyle, Masters, Hayes + Jennewein Architects in Tampa, Fla., and then at the Washington, D.C., office of Gensler, where he worked until his death. And during his career, he received several awards, including the 2010 Young Architect Award. Kelley was also a husband, father, son, and friend.

“Christopher saw the world as a place to engage in and his career as a means to invest in his profession. His discerning guidance, insightful advice and wonderful sense of humor made a difference in, and influenced the lives of countless young architects,” AIA colleague and friend Mickey Jacob, FAIA, said. “With thoughtful leadership, unwavering enthusiasm and an inspirational style, Christopher set a standard of excellence in everything he did that made us all want to be a better person.”

Kelley was the loving husband of Suzanna W. Kelley, the devoted father of Ashtyn Elizabeth and Logan William Kelley, and the adoring son of Patricia L. Kelley and Harry J. Kelley.

The Kelley Children Education Fund has been established to help support the future education needs of Christopher’s children, Ashtyn and Logan.