Liberty Security Systems co-founder dead at 56

Robert Kelly 1953-2010
Friday, February 26, 2010

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—Robert Kelly, 56, co-founder of Liberty Security Systems here, died Wednesday, Feb. 24, the company announced in a press release. Kelly founded the company with his brother, Charles Kelly, in 1986. 

Roy Gallaher, president of the Tennessee Burglar & Fire Alarm Association, said while he didn’t know Kelly personally, he’d spoken to several association members who knew him well. “People I’ve spoken to said he was always friendly, had a great attitude, enjoyed life and always had a smile on his face," Gallaher said. "This came as a shock to everyone who knew him. He will be missed in his community and in the industry.”  

The funeral arrangements are as follows: Receiving of Friends: Saturday, February 27 from 5-6:45 p.m. at Click Funeral Home Farragut; Celebration of Life: Saturday, February 27 at 7 p.m. inside the Click Funeral Home Farragut Chapel. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials be made to the ASPCA. The company press release asks that the family’s privacy be respected at this time and to avoid phone calls. Condolences, cards and flowers can be mailed to: Liberty Security Systems, Inc., 10629 Lone Star Way, Knoxville, Tenn., 37932, or emailed to

Liberty Security Services will be closed for service, installations and estimates until Tuesday, March 2. The company’s 24-hour monitoring service will continue without interruption.

Robert Kelly was born on June 27, 1953. According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, he was an avid motorcyclist and a commercial hot-air balloon pilot and instructor. He was preceded in death by his father, Charles Kelly Sr., and mother, Louise Rubelli. He is survived by his wife, Linda Kelly; brother, Charles Kelly Jr.; sister and brother-in-law, Sharon and Daniel Cavanaugh; step-father, David Rubelli; niece, Michelle Figler (Mark); nephew, Daniel S. Cavanaugh (Christina); grand-niece, Eden Figler; grand-nephew, Hunter Figler and other beloved family members in Nashville, Tenn., and Pennsylvania. 

Kelly, who had been on medical leave from work for the past three weeks as the result of a recent severe heart attack, was fatally shot by deputies from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 24. According to news reports, the Knox County authorities were dispatched to his home after his wife called 911 requesting officers because he was suicidal. When they got on scene, Kelly allegedly fired shots at the deputies. KCSO officials confirmed that the three deputies returned fire. At least two of them are now on paid administrative leave while the investigation is conducted. Kelly was pronounced dead at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.