Irene Elsie Kelly


1922 – 2012

After a lifetime of devotion to family, friends and community, Irene Elsie Kelly passed away on February 29, 2012 with her daughter by her side.

She was born Ina Edna Adams on July 19, 1922 in Coldstream, New Brunswick to George and Elsie Adams. She faced the loss of her parents at the age of 4 and was subsequently separated from her five siblings. She eventually settled in Black’s Harbour, New Brunswick to start a new life with Annie and George Caldwell.

She graduated St. John General Hospital as a nurse in 1944 and remained close friends with fellow grads. She enjoyed her career immensely and remained a nurse always.

Irene married Larry Kelly on June 16, 1945 shortly after his return from Bomber Command with the RCAF. They moved to Vernon, BC and started a family. Irene was an amazing homemaker and set up homes in Chilliwack, Germany, The Pas Manitoba and finally Vernon. She would spend her day in the garden or canning, care for her five children and still work the evening shift at the hospital. She supported Larry in his endeavor to be a dentist and the path that took them. She was never idle, keeping herself busy with volunteer service, knitting and finding treasures for all. Irene sent out countless care packages of Ranger cookies, mittens and thrift store treasures near and far. Irene kept up written correspondance with many and never missed a birthday. She believed in a simple life of hard work filled with simple pleasures, like tea in a fine bone china cup.

Survived by her loving children Sharon (Ross) Edmondson, Susan (Jim) Lorden,

Margaret (Rick) Gallagher, Gordon (Janis) Kelly; grandchildren Rhonda (Glen) Sage and Sandra (Stephan) Anderson, Kelly (Chris) Graham and Donna (Paul Salamandyk) Gallagher and Anne Kelly; great grandchildren Kirsten & Brendan Sage, Erik & Trigg Anderson, Lane & Connor Graham and Seth, Riane and Anson Salamandyk. Predeceased by her husband Larry in 1999 and her son George in 2012.

Irene moved to Kamloops in 2006 to be closer to family as she struggled with Alzheimer’s. A heartfelt thank you to the loving staff of Pine Grove Care Centre and Linda Bonner-Brown for her companionship. Although this was a difficult time, Irene remained a ray of sunshine.

Interment will occur at a later date in Vernon.

You can shed tears that she is gone,

or you can smile because she lived.

You can close your eyes and hope that she comes back or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.

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