Mary Kelly

Aug 21st 1931 - Feb 27th 2013

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Born to Irish immigrant parents, John and Nellie (Brown) Howe on August 21, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois, Mary Teresa Kelly could be as stubborn as they come and appreciated a good story. Just the same, her kind hearted nature was a blessing to family, friends, and strangers alike. In Mary's eyes, honesty and a good work ethic were the qualities for which she believed nearly anyone could succeed. A resilient and well loved woman, Mary will be sorely missed.

During Mary's early years, life for many was a struggle with the hardships of the Great Depression. Having grown up in the city of Chicago with her siblings, John, Matt, Vinnie, and Margaret, her father supported their family as a city bus mechanic while her mother remained at home with the children. Mary was raised in the church which remained a special part of her life, and she attended the local schools.

Mary had a heart for helping others. Following high school, she went to nursing school, and for the next 35 years, was dedicated to her career as a registered nurse and loved her work. During this time, she was also devoted to a young man whom she met at an Irish dance. In 1954, Mary married Jack Kelly and in time they were blessed with five children, Mary, John, Kathleen, Michael, and Thomas. As a mother, she was fun loving and never ceased in supporting her children's endeavors. She also enjoyed giving her children wonderful parties to celebrate their birthdays. Christmas was a special time for Mary. The remembrance of Christmas' past and big, holiday dinners made for fond memories. Mary liked a good party, and could make times enjoyable for everyone. Although her marriage to Jack eventually ended after 45 years of marriage, Mary was forever grateful for the family they shared.

There were lessons to be learned from Mary. Although her stubborn nature and speaking her mind could sometimes get the best of her, she believed wholeheartedly in hard work, honesty, and generosity. She laid a good foundation for her family to follow, and taught by example. On occasion, she'd bring in the homeless, offering warmth of heart and home, along with a good meal. An animal lover, too, they always had a family pet, and at times brought in strays. Mary's church was another important part of her life. She was a woman who enjoyed the company of others, and had a special way all her own.

Among her interests, Mary liked reading, especially Steven King novels. Her heritage was important to her, and on their honeymoon, Mary and Jack spent three months in Ireland. She enjoyed going back and loved the simple way of life and the beauty of the land. She knew her way around the kitchen, and made delicious meals and family favorites for everyone to enjoy. A loving and good hearted soul, Mary will be deeply missed and fondly remembered.

At the age of 81, Mary Teresa Kelly sadly died on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo. Members of her family include her children: Mary Campos, John Kelly, Kathleen (Michael Fox) Kelly, Thomas (Renee) Kelly; grandchildren: Brendan, Niall, Brian, Delia, Sean, Jennifer; one great-grandchild, Cuinn Michael. She was preceded in death by her son, Michael in 1991. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Augustine Cathedral in Kalamazoo with burial in Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Chicago, Illinois. To share a memory of Mary and to sign her online guest book, please visit

Mary Kelly