In Memory of

Celeste

K

Kelly

(King)

Obituary for Celeste K Kelly (King)

Celeste King Kelly passed away peacefully on July 17, 2023 in Nashua, New Hampshire. Celeste had lived in an Independent Living apartment at The Huntington at Nashua since 2006, eventually becoming the Huntington’s oldest resident to live independently. It wasn’t until December of 2022 at the age of 101 that the ever vital and fiercely self-sufficient Celeste decided to transfer to Assisted Living.

Family was always the center of Celeste’s life. She herself defined her most important roles as daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, cousin, and friend. She was loved and admired by all who knew her for her selfless, caring ways, her generous spirit, her optimism, and the sunny outlook she maintained through all life’s challenges. Celeste was known for her big heart; as her family grew, her heart grew. She showered with love three children, eight grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and all their partners and pets! Along with countless relatives and friends.

Celeste was born on the family farm in Genoa, NY, the fourth of Effie (Mason) King and Floyd James King’s six children. She remembered loving farm life, working hard at chores, and in her teens driving a team to help her father with haying. She attended a one-room school house for the first six grades, and during wintery weather would sometimes be driven to and from school by her father in a sleigh pulled by horses. She graduated from Genoa High School as valedictorian at age 16. Then she studied to be an elementary school teacher at Cortland Normal School (now Cortland State University), graduating with honors at age 19. Her first teaching job was in a one-room school house, and she went on to teach in several different elementary schools before she married.

At the age of 19, while roller skating, Celeste met the love her life, Jerry Kelly. When he told her he knew that her name, Celeste, means heavenly, she knew he would capture her heart! During world War ll, Jerry served as an Army Officer under cover in France, and Celeste worked decoding messages in Washington, DC with her friend Margaret Ash (later Antrim).

Celeste and Jerry were married in May of 1946, and their three children were born in 1947 and 1949. Jerry’s storied career with IBM spanned 42 years, many awards, and many family moves, always with Celeste’s strong support. Celeste made every move an adventure for her children!

Celeste was very active in her children’s lives and served as Brownie and Girl Scout leader, room mother and CYO leader. She belonged to Columbiettes when Jerry belonged to Knights of Columbus. In later years after her children were grown, Celeste served as a public school volunteer in Laconia, NH; a hospital volunteer in Laconia, NH; and a Library volunteer at The Huntington of Nashua. Celeste loved to travel with Jerry, and after he passed at age 78, she continued traveling with friends and family.

Celeste was a skilled seamstress, a crafter, a lover of nature, a gardener, a birder, an avid walker, and a fitness and nutrition maven. She loved listening to music, reading, and writing verse. A thoroughly modern woman who was raised before electricity and indoor plumbing were common in rural New York, Celeste evolved with the times and from her eighties onward, used a computer for email and internet research!

Celeste was predeceased by her five siblings: Norton King (Peggy); Jane King Hill (Horace); Marilyn King Thayer (Gordon); Leah May King Adams (Bob); and Vivian King Voorhees (Don) . . . and by several dear cousins including Jane Fish Vannucchi.

Celeste will be sadly missed by her daughter Marilyn Kelly-Anderson Chetwynd and her husband Jim Chetwynd; her son Vincent Kelly and his partner Nancy Caputo; and her daughter Charlene Kelly Anderson. By her grandchildren Todd Anderson and his wife Madeline Anderson; Ryan Kelly and his wife, Leah Kelly; Leif Anderson and his partner Jessica Fabian; Chris Kelly (David Klasfeld); Gwenyth Anderson and her partner Kraig Walker; Dane Anderson (Jenny Lee); Jennifer Kelly; and Matthew Anderson. And by her great-grandchildren Jacey Anderson, Bryn Anderson, Tori Anderson, Devin Anderson, Will Kelly, Magnus Anderson, and Maeve Anderson. Celeste will also be greatly missed by many nieces and nephews and grand-nieces and grand-nephews, as well as by friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Celeste’s name to your local humane society or animal shelter will be appreciated. Celeste loved animals and enjoyed pets throughout her life.

SERVICES IN NASHUA, NH will be held at: Davis Funeral Home, 1 Lock Street on Thursday, July 20, 2023. Calling hours will be from 2 pm-4 pm with a Memorial Service at 3:30 pm.

SERVICES IN NEW YORK STATE will be held at: Nichols Funeral Home, Whitney Point, New York on Saturday, July 22, 2023. Calling hours will be from 10:30am to 11:30am with a Funeral mass at St. Stephen’s Church in Marathon, NY 12:00-1:00 pm. Interment and commitment Service at Marathon Cemetery 1:30pm.
A luncheon back at St Stephen’s in the church hall/basement directly after the burial.