Beatrice "Bea" Mary Kelly left this earth to spend eternity with her Creator and heavenly family on Tuesday, October 8, 2013. She was born on November 2, 1914, All Souls Day, in Manhattan, New York, the eldest daughter of Italian immigrants.
Raised in poverty she only achieved an 8th grade education and entered the work force at age 14 as a seamstress in New York's garment industry. In 1939 Bea married Thomas E. Kelly, a NYC policeman and together they had two children, Victor and Marcella (Thomas) Claridge. She went back to work due to her husband's illness. Needing to be closer to home she left her position as an operator at AT&T and was employed at S.M. Frank & Co., a smoking pipe firm, advancing from telephone operator to bookkeeper. Later with these skills she was able to run a one girl office. In her 70's Bea began a career in home health care. She had a strong work ethic always giving her best to every employer.
However, her faith and family were the most important aspects of her life. At age 10 she took the Blessed Mother as her mother and never wavered in her devotion and reliance on her assistance. Just as the Sacred Heart of Jesus burned with love for humanity Bea sacrificed and weathered many storms and challenges confident of God's providential care.
She felt blessed with three granddaughters, her "Three Shining Stars", Monica, Mary (Len), and Anne and two great grandchildren Gabrielle and Alex Lee. They remember her many visits which always included treats from her neighborhood NY bakeries. "If you are going to do something, do it right the first time; if the next person can do it, so can you, and don't give up your faith," were some of her words of wisdom which they fondly recall.
Eventually her health issues necessitated a permanent move to Madison three years ago to All Saints Retirement Apartments. Never one to see her limitations and disabilities as a reason to slow down she continued going to daily mass and to Mc Donald's for her coffee and apple pie until her recent hospitalization.
She was always grateful to those who helped her keep her independence and called them her "special angels" sent by God. If you were one of them, she and her family thank you.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus plaque and the Blessed Mother picture which Bea carried with her wherever she went were constant reminders that she was never alone. One of her favorite prayers which she could recall from memory was the "I Live Alone" prayer which guided her actions.
A Prayer for Those Who Live Alone
I live alone, dear Lord, stay by my side. In all my daily needs, be thou my guide. Grant me good health, for that I pray, to carry on my work from day to day. Keep pure my thoughts, my every deed. Let me be kind and unselfish in my neighbors needs. If sickness or an accident befall, then humbly, Lord, I pray, hear Thou my call. And when I'm feeling low or in despair, lift up my heart and help me in my prayer. I live alone, dear Lord, yet have no fear, because I feel your presence ever near. Amen. Author Unknown
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 2131 Rowley Ave., Madison, WI on Monday, October 14, 2103 at 11 AM. Visitation will be from 10-11 AM. A luncheon will follow interment at Resurrection Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers the family requests Mass cards or donations to Catholic Charities of Madison.