Barbara (Allen) Kelly, 90, died peacefully at home on Thursday, January 16, 2020. Born in Springfield to the late Wesley and Ethel (Palmer) Allen, she was married to James A. Kelly, Jr. for twenty-seven years until his death in 1981. She was a homemaker raising their five children before returning to school to become a registered nurse, working for many years at the Hartford Institute for Living. During spring and summer, Barbara would be found digging in her garden, finding the perfect places for her plants, rocks, and trinkets. She enjoyed early mornings with a cup of tea, solving crosswords in ink, and listening to the birds chirping. Barbara began painting with watercolors after her retirement, working with the fluid and transparent qualities of the paint to create beauty on paper. She loved using white gouache to scatter snow over her winter scenes. Barbara was vivacious and enjoyed socializing with friends near and far, who traveled with her, played cards, and sat down for supper (always supper, never dinner) together. Her competitive love of cards was well known and newcomers to the card table were warned of her prowess at canasta, pitch, and screwy Louie, and cautioned to never bend the cards when shuffling. She enjoyed teaching new games, once gifting a bag of seven decks and instructions to family and friends for hand and foot canasta, so a game could be played at any of their houses. Barbara also loved to read novels (especially thrillers) and go to the movies (the more action the better). She loved her butter, Cheetos, pistachios, and meatball subs with potato chips and root beer. Barbara also shared her passion and talent for cooking with her children and their spouses. Barbara enjoyed spending time with her family: her son James Kelly and his wife, Kathleen, of East Longmeadow; her son Daniel Kelly of New Hampshire and Florida; her son Thomas Kelly and his wife, Melanie, of California; her daughter Lisa and her husband, Scott, of Florida; and her son John Kelly and his wife, Dena, of Wilbraham. She adored her eight grandchildren: JT, Scotty, Gus, Tommy, Jack, Declan, Maudie, and Marin. Barbara also leaves nieces, nephews, and friends. Barbara was assisted by Debbie Gordon in her later years, whose companionship and compassion were beyond compare. Barbara’s family would also like to thank all of the men and women who cared for Barbara during her transition. Barbara’s Prayer Service will be held on Saturday, February 1st at 12:30 PM at Wilbraham Funeral Home, 2551 Boston Rd., Wilbraham. Visitation will precede the service from 10 A.M. – 12 Noon at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to your favorite charity.
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