Middleton — Mrs. Rita M. Kelley, 86, of Middleton, formally of Boston, beloved wife of Robert E. Kelley of Middleton, died Sunday evening, July 28, 2013, at the Beverly Hospital, surround by her family.
Born in Boston, she was the daughter of late John and Sarah (McGonaigle) McGilloway of Ireland. She was educated in the Parochial Grammar Schools of Boston. She was a graduate of Dorchester High School for Girls in 1944, and attended evening sessions at Burdett College from 1945 to 1946, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Magna Cum Laude from Salem State College in May of 1978.
Employed by the General Electric Co. in Lynn, Mrs. Kelley started as a duplicator operator and worked her way up to the sales engineer’s assistant from February of 1944 through June 1953.
In 1965, she volunteered as library aide at the Howe-Manning School of Middleton, eventually becoming in charge of the school library. In 1971, she was the second female trustee elected at Flint Library in Middleton.
Alongside her husband, Mrs. Kelley initiated the first Middleton Cleanup Campaign. In 1978, she joined the Middleton Historical Society, to help initiate and develop educational programs, and remained active until recently. She also became a member of the Tuesday A.M. Reading Group at Peabody Institute Library. Robert and Rita ran the Bread and Roses Program of monthly meals to Lawrence to help those in need.
Mrs. Kelley enjoyed hiking, as well as reading and dancing. Starting at age 45, she spent the next three years hiking the 47 peaks over 4,000 feet in the New Hampshire range. She traveled to 49 different states in an RV. Hiking and traveling her way, Mrs. Kelley ventured through England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. She also spent time in Germany, France, Costa Rica, Yucatan, Mexico, Alaska, Spain, and Morocco.
As a longtime and an active member of her parish, St. Agnes Church of Middleton, Mrs. Kelley devoted her time to many church endeavors. She taught Sunday School, and for a brief time, was acting principle, as well as a Lector for over 20 years.
She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and aunt, who will be missed greatly by friends and family.
In addition to her loving husband of 63 years, Rita is survived by her daughter, Kathryn G. Kelley of Hope Valley, R.I.; her sons, Michael F. Kelley of Old Saybrook, Conn., and Dennis J. Kelley of Middleton; her grandchildren, Meghan Kaiserman, Christopher Baker, Kendra Kelley and Bryan Kelley; her two great-grandchildren; her siblings, Sally Russo of New Hampshire, James McGilloway of Beverly, and Margaret Fitch of Stoughton; as well as several nieces and nephews. She was the mother of the late Steven P. Kelley, and sister of the late John, Danny and Huey McGilloway, Ann Higgins, and Mary McCarey.
ARRANGEMENTS: Her funeral Mass will be held in St. Agnes Church, Boston St., Middleton, on Friday, August 2, at 9 a.m. Relatives and friends are invited. Burial will be in Oakdale Cemetery, Middleton. Visiting hours will be held in St. Agnes Church, Boston St., Middleton, on Thursday August 1, from 4 to 7 p.m. Assisting the family with the arrangements is the Peterson-O’Donnell Funeral Home, 167 Maple St., Route 62, Danvers. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Rita’s memory to World Vision, P.O. Box 70200, Tacoma, WA, 98481. To share a memory, or offer a condolence, please visit www.odonnellfuneralservice.com.