Kelly Haddad to be honored Friday; admin building in Kearny to be renamed

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The Pinal County Administration Building in Kearny recently got a facelift and a new name.

  The late Kelly Haddad, a long time Justice of the Peace and political figure in Pinal County, is being honored with the renaming of the Pinal County Kearny Administration building. The building will now be the Kelly Haddad Administration Building. Supervisor Pete Rios with Pinal County Facilities Department announced the renaming of the building to honor Mr. Kelly Haddad for his years of service to the community.

  Mr. Haddad spent most of his life not only serving his community but honorably serving his country, county and state. Kelly Haddad was born in Superior, Arizona in 1927. He was a Navy veteran of World War II and an Army veteran of the Korean War. He became a merchant and entrepreneur, moving to the small mining community of Sonora, the Mexican section of Ray. He owned a clothing store there and quickly became involved in giving back to the community. He joined the Amador-Larini Unit 69 of the American Legion which was known as the Spanish-American chapter. Ray had its own American Legion Post. He became the President of the Ray-Sonora Little League in 1957.     

  Haddad would then enter politics, being elected Justice of the Peace in 1958. He served eight terms in the Ray-Sonora and Kearny districts before retiring. His political career spanned three decades. In the 1950s and early 60s, he was instrumental in seeing that justice was ensured for the Mexican-American community during the Civil Rights movement. Like a number of veterans that returned from the war, he saw the discrimination and inequality in the mining towns in the area and knew that they deserved better. He helped bring about good changes in the community. He was politically active serving on county commissions and civic boards. Local politicians sought his endorsement and advice.

  Lionel Ruiz, retired Pinal County Supervisor for District 1 said of Haddad, “He fit into every community that he lived in and made it a better community. He helped a lot of people. He knew how to treat people.”

  As a judge, he would counsel many of those that had gotten into trouble and help make them better.

  Whenever Lionel was in Kearny, he made it a point to visit Kelly and his wife Navval at their store.

  “They were always welcoming. He had a good family and wife. He gave me a lot of advice. He was a mentor to me,” Lionel said. 

  Haddad was involved in community activities and organizations for 46 years including: Pinal County Fair Commission, Pinal County Development Commission, Copper Basin Chamber of Commerce, Rotary International, B.P.O.E. (Elks), Lions Club, American Legion, VFW, Moose and Masons.

  On April 13, 2018 at 10 a.m., there will be a building dedication to honor Kelly Haddad in Kearny at the county administration building. The public is invited and light refreshments will be served.

John Hernandez (720 Posts)

John Hernandez lives in Oracle. He is retired and enjoys writing and traveling. He is active in the Oracle Historical Society. He covers numerous public events, researches historical features and writes business/artist profiles.


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