On the evening of March 14, 2019, the world lost a glimmer of light. Nancy Beth Kelly (68), loving wife, mother and Grammy passed quietly into the night surrounded by her loving family.
Nancy was born in The Dalles, Ore., to Alexander and Irene (Schlitt) Usinger. She was an adventurous child and loved to explore the outdoors with her brother. They spent many summers at their boathouse on the Columbia River.
When she was fifteen, Nancy attended a recreation center dance and it was there she met the future love of her life, Brian Kelly (future because he asked her to dance and then didn’t speak to her again for several months). He just stared at her in the school hallway. In his defense, he was shy and really liked her.
After high school she attended the University of Oregon with Brian and earned her degree in elementary education. She went on to teach at both Witch Hazel and Ladd Acres Elementary schools. Nancy and Brian were married in 1973 after seven short years of dating! In 1981, her oldest daughter, Erica, was born. Nancy decided to transition her career into a stay at home mom, a career where she truly shined. Three years later, they welcomed the arrival of their youngest daughter, Rachel. Nancy cared for the girls, was a substitute teacher and did the billing for Brian’s medical practice.
Nancy embodied all of the wonderful qualities people aspire to be: she was selfless, hardworking, loving, beautiful, funny, patient, and empathetic. To know Nancy was to love her. She had the gift of being able to talk to anyone and have them walk away feeling as if they were the most important person in her life. She touched everyone she met with her kindness, grace and true warmth.
Nancy was an amazing mother and wife, but when her grandchildren came along, she outdid herself. “Grammy” doted on her grandchildren, babysitting them whenever she could, taking them on adventures, doing crafts and always smothering them in treats. She was very proud of the time spent and relationships made with her grandchildren.
Nancy was always the heart of her family, but her two-year battle with cancer showed just how strong and brave she was. Every day she was present after her diagnosis was a testament to her strength and will to be with her family just a little longer.
Her passing has left a hole in many hearts, both old and young. She is preceded in death by her mother and father. She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Brian; brother Scott (wife Chris); her daughters Erica and Rachel, son-in-laws Micah and John; and her five cherished grandchildren, Cody, Tyler, Ruby, Drew, and Quincy.
A memorial service is planned at Sunset Presbyterian Church on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Oregon Humane Society.
Arrangements by Springer and Son.