So his son is in charge of making his sister's breakfast and caring for her in the morning.
"My son is a really positive person and a good kid, and he has had to grow up pretty fast," the father said.
That's for sure.
The elder Kelly's mother also helps, and there have been others who also have been generous with their time, but the main responsibility falls on the Triton sophomore, who has embraced the opportunity to help his family.
"We all need to pitch in and stay together," Kevin said.
Imagine a family depending so heavily on a 16-year-old.
"When I go to work, he gets his sister up for school and it's a lot of responsibility on him," the elder Kevin Kelly said. "We don't have any other option."
And through all this, wrestling has helped keep the family close.
The elder Kelly is a 1987 graduate of Paul VI and wrestled there. He introduced his son to the sport. The father enjoys seeing his son compete, and most of all, it's an interest that they share.
And wrestling also has provided the younger Kelly with a refuge.
"I just love it, going out on the mat," he said. "A lot of times, you get down over things, and [wrestling] takes your mind off everything."
Triton's enthusiastic first-year wrestling coach, Andrew Haubois, has been extremely impressed with the progress Kelly has made on the mat. Yet none of that compares with the high regard Haubois has for him as a person.
"I cannot stress enough just how good of a kid Kevin is. He does all the right things all of the time and is extremely nice and soft-spoken," Haubois said.
"With his work ethic and wrestling experience, I have no doubt that the wins will pile up for Kevin as his career goes on here at Triton."
Yet even for a coach who is working assiduously to elevate the Mustangs program, the thrill of victory is secondary when describing what it's like to coach Kelly.
"I feel honored to coach somebody like that, a hard worker and high-character person," Haubois said.
Make no mistake, this is a difficult time for the Kelly family, but they are making the best of the situation with a huge contribution from the 120-pound wrestler.
"He and I are really close, and we talked, and I told him that we have to continue as a family and I need your help," the elder Kelly said. "And he stepped up to the plate, and he's a young man I consider my best friend."
The father couldn't have made a better choice.
Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at firstname.lastname@example.org, 856-779-3225, or @sjnard on Twitter. Find his Rally columns at www.philly.com/narducci