Trooper Wilburn A. Kelly never thought for a moment when he left his home in St. Augustine on Saturday, March 23, 1974 that he would have seen his wife and daughter for the last time. Kelly had served with the Florida Highway Patrol for 22 years at that time.
Trooper Kelly was called and responded to the scene of an automobile accident that day. While completing his investigation, he was struck from behind by a passing vehicle and killed. He left behind a wife and 23-year-old daughter, Cynthia (Cindy) Kelly Schuster. Cindy was every bit a daddy’s girl as the day when she was born.
Troop G Office of Public Affairs Master Sergeant Dylan L. Bryan announced to Historic City News today that a portion of I-95 in St. Johns County, between mile markers 332 and 327, has been designated as the “Trooper Wilburn A. Kelly Memorial Highway.”
The official presentation will take place Friday, January 24, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. at the Florida Highway Patrol station located at 875 SR-16, in St Augustine.
When Cindy was recently notified of the tribute to her father’s memory, she said that even though over 40-years have passed, thoughts and remembrances for her dad continue.
“I remember you as both a fine person, loving Father and honest officer. You were always fair and kind to me and my deep respect for you has not been diminished in the least by time (oh so many years). Your love for your family and your devotion to your community is a great and beautiful legacy that I will admire until my days are done. Thank you, Buddy, I think of you quite often and may God bless your soul and keep you close to him, always.”
Bruce M. Cohoon, personal friend and admirer, December 31, 2015
“Another year has passed and you are still admired and respectfully remembered in the hearts and minds of so many. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones and friends on this anniversary of your end-of-watch. You will never be forgotten.”
James Sheppard, Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06, March 23, 2010.
Kelly also had ties to Marianna and Jackson County. His daughter began school there at Riverside Elementary before1962 when he was transferred to St. Augustine. Cindy Kelly Schuster has remained in contact with numerous classmates since leaving Jackson County and returns frequently for visits.