Eileen Isom Kelly
June 2,1920 – February 28,2021
Eileen Isom Kelly passed away peacefully in her home on February 28, 2021. She was born in 1920 and was 100 years old. She and her husband Loyd led a wonderful life living through some of the most interesting and patriotic times in America. Born in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, she often spoke of riding her own pony to school. She graduated Valedictorian of her class and attended William Jewel College and Northwestern State University with a BA in English and Science. An exceptional student, she was recruited to teach at the college level as it was at the beginning of WWII . She was tall, blond and gorgeous and the young war time recruits were all very anxious to take her class in Nutrition. She was a marvelous cook as were her mother Ella Pointer and Grandmother White. All through her life, she practiced and taught her children to have a healthy lifestyle, especially nutritious food.
She soon met the love of her life from the nearby town of Kearney, Missouri, who was on leave from the Navy’s Officer Candidate School (OCS) where he was about to be given command of a Navy ship in the Pacific. They were married in a Naval ceremony outside of Cape May, New Jersey. It was the beginning of an extraordinary life together.
After the war, she and Loyd moved to Clewiston, Florida, which was a long way from the Midwest! Loyd had begun working for his Uncle Emil Kelly who had acquired the Caterpillar dealership for southern Florida in 1933. Eileen worked alongside her husband to create a wonderful life in Clewiston which was rapidly becoming the home of the sugar industry in the State of Florida. During that time, she raised three children and served in many local organizations. Eventually Loyd assumed leadership of the business, Kelly Tractor, and moved the family and the business headquarters to Miami.
They built a home in Coral Gables where they lived the rest of their lives. Eileen was involved in a number of important organizations in the Miami area and the State of Florida including serving as Vice Regent of DAR, the Woman’s Cancer Association, a founding member of Florida House, located in Washington D.C., Fairchild Garden and Montgomery Botanical Center which she and Loyd supported for many years.
They spent many years during the spring and summer at their home in Hendersonville, North Carolina where they had a beautiful mountain view and many wonderful friends. Eileen was an avid reader and was always interested in the latest current events. She and Loyd attended many cultural events, concerts and plays.
Eileen and Loyd traveled throughout the world together including Asia, Europe and Central and South America. Their most memorable trip was a return to the Pacific revisiting all the ports at which Loyd’s ship had been during the Pacific theater of WWII. Eileen’s travel journals are quite detailed and beautifully written.
During her life, the most important roles were of wife, mother and grandmother. She was beloved by her family: her daughter, Christabel Vartanian and her husband Paul; her two sons, Patrick Kelly and his wife Luisa and Nicholas Kelly and wife Barbara; her grandchildren, Nishan Vartanian and his wife Victoria, Annabel Jeffries and her husband Andrew, Katherine Kelly, Eileen Kelly, Christopher Kelly and his wife Laura, and Bradley Kelly; and her great grandchildren, Dominick Kelly, Paul Vartanian, Stella
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