Mary P. Kelley of Wheat Ridge – most loving mother, aunt and great-aunt – passed away June 22, 2011, in her home of 61 years. Her daughter Kathy of Denver, and son Reed (Kathleen) of Meeker, were at her side. She is also survived by nine nieces, seven nephews, numerous grand- and great- nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband, Walt, in 1995, as well as her parents and all of her siblings: Alfred John Parsons (Cook Forest, Penn.), Davis Reed Parsons (Long Beach, Calif.), Elizabeth Jane Stoner (Pittsburgh, Penn.), and Margaret Helen Stirling (Oregon City, Ore.).Mary Hildeburn Parsons was born to Sarah Jane Davis and Alfred George Parsons in Washington, Penn., April 16, 1914. As a teenager and young woman, Mary worked with her mother and her brother, John, in the guest services business at Cook Forest State Park in Pennsylvania, and then did clerical work in Pittsburgh for several years.Mary and Walter Harvey Kelley Jr., were married at Fredericksburg, Va., on Nov. 28, 1942, while Walt served at the Dahlgren Proving Grounds as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. When Walt was released from service at the end of World War II, Mary and Walt headed west, driving cross-country in their 1939 Oldsmobile, taking 20 days to reach Colorado, where Walt found work after just a few months at Stearns Roger Corporation in Denver, primarily doing refractories engineering. They first lived along Highway 93 between Golden and Boulder near Leyden where they started a small Hereford cow herd. When the electric tram, “public transit,” from Leyden to Denver was taken out of service, they felt the need to move closer to Denver and purchased the house in Wheat Ridge in the fall of 1950. The cow herd had to be sold in 1956 due to the drought.Mary volunteered as a “candy striper” at Lutheran Hospital and a clerk for the Colorado Historical Society at their museum gift shop. She loved horses and horseback riding, music, playing the piano, enjoyed watching birds and loved all animals, and singing – she was a stalwart alto in the Wheat Ridge United Church of Christ choir for many, many years and sang in Wheat Ridge’s “Singing Keenagers” group. She also enjoyed needle pointing, quilting, participating in her monthly bridge and “brown bagger” lunch groups, gardening, reveling in the magnificence of her roses, languishing in her massages, watching the Denver Broncos when they were winning, learning from both the National Geographic and Animal Planet programs and appreciating the companionship of Kathy’s canines – Josie and Abbey.A celebration of life service will be held at the Wheat Ridge Congregation of the United Church of Christ, 6310 West 29th Ave., Wheat Ridge, July 23 at 11 a.m. Cremation has been held. Suggested charities in Mary’s memory are the Colorado Mountain Club, the Colorado Trail Foundation, the Continental Divide Trail Foundation, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Zoo, or a charity of your choosing.
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