I was shocked to hear of Regina's passing. She was one of the people I only saw once a year - at the John Burroughs Award ceremony at AMNH. Our day there, always the first Monday in April would start with a warm smile and the promise of a great celebration for the love of nature and excellent naturalist writing. I am sorry to hear of her passing and send my condolences to her family and friends. I will make sure to raise a toast to her at this year's meeting.
I just celebrated my 68th birthday. Reg certainly would have tortured me about getting old. I can just imagine what she might say...
This guest book is amazing! It is great to see messages by people I haven't heard from for decades. It sure would be nice to gather at SOC this spring to celebrate the life of such a wonderful friend. Jim & Judy Merritt
Reg, I always thought there would be time for one more pursuit of the perfect bacon cheeseburger; one more birding trip to identify that Bachman's Warbler flying by us; and at least two dozen more trips to the flea market. You were always a wonderful friend who was very generous with your knowledge, connections and understanding of the natural world. Tom and I will miss you greatly. Here's to the next chapter of Screaming Peepers and the freedom to no longer have to speak sub rosa. Hope I will see you in the next life!
Thank you Reggie for the gift of your friendship across the miles and over the long years since we first met you (and Leaper) at NJSOC in the Fall of 1977. We will miss sharing yearly updates of our lives now, but our treasured memories of your spirited, kind and caring nature will live on.
We would like to express our hear felt (though belated) condolences to Reggie's family, her career-long colleagues at NJSOC and close friends.
Eliz and Joe Brunton* (Ireland)
Teaching Fellow in Env. St: 1977-78
I miss you Reg. You gave me so much during my years in the states. I loved your frogs, cats and friendship. You helpt me through the studies at Montclair. My family would have loved to met you. I miss you my dear friend.
I hadn't seen Reg since she graduated from TSC all those many years ago but we kept in touch every year at the holidays. I loved her wit, her knowledge and her caring heart. I know she will be missed by many.
Carolyn Hoffman Benkowitz, Marietta, GA
My husband and I were traveling in Europe when my son received the news. He wisely chose not to tell us until we returned. It has taken several days to process.
Reg was part of my live for well over 50 years. She was my maid of honor when I married and a wonderful godmother to my son Ed. She even took on the responsibility of being his guardian. That is true love and trust, We led very different lives but we never abandoned our
Reg will always be in my thougts. What a great gal.
Buzz and I are so sorry to learn about Reggie's passing. She accepted me as her friend when Buzz and I married, and we remained friends for many years. We are sad to learn of her death.
God Mommy Ms. Reggie I will never forget you and how your love of nature and all creatures big or small touched me so much. I know it was all that you shared with me and taught me that made me the woman I am today. My recognizing all the beauty of nature and my deep love and appreciation of it came from all that you showed and shared with me. I will never forget always looking for anything I could find frog related to give to you. You were my mom's best friend from before I was born and through out our lives and I thank you for that. I love you and will truly miss you, your little Laurie that swallowed the nickle at camp.
Well, Reg, I never thought we'd be saying farewell this way. If I had known.... I would've been there. Together we roamed the halls of good old TSC, lived at "The Establishment," hiked the forest primeval, and did the World's Fair in New Orleans. Friends since the early 60s, you were my "best bud," and I know you're proudly wearing your S.P.I.F.C.W.A.M.H.E sweatshirt in Heaven. Love you much, Miss Reggie.
You have been a part of my life for 40+ years. I enjoyed every minute of the times we spent together. You opened my heart and mind to nature, birding,and cats. You were a magnificent package of naughty and nice. Thank you for the memories.
I rode the a dreadful yellow bus to St. Mary's High School (when it was still called St. Mary's) with Reggie for four years and we were also in the school plays together. Lost track of her but was really looking forward to seeing her again at our 50th reunion this October. Now I guess I'll have to wait a little longer.
So nice to learn that she led a full and giving life.
Reggie's passing is a great loss of a good friend. Her wisdom, kindness and generosity were always an inspiration to those of us who worked with her in the field of environmental educaion. We remember her with love and gratitude.
Reggie was my first female friend when I arrived in New Jersey twenty-six years ago. She helped me prepare for our wedding in generous fashion. I wore her diamond necklace on that special day. She was the only non-family member at our wedding and reception. Her presence made our wedding all the more special.
Yesterday, at the church when Jerry said that Reggie was a virtual Rolodex of information about those who had passed through SOC's network, I thought immediately of how true that was. But Reggie was a virtual Rolodex before virtual took on its modern meaning and before Rolodex was invented.
I will miss you Reggie. I will miss your wit and wisdom.
With love, Judy
Reg and I worked together at the School of Conservation for nearly two decades, but we were far more than fellow employees. Our apartments shared a common wall (thin) in one of the old CCC buildings on Sequoya campus at the school. This made for a special closeness not shared by anyone else. As my nearest neighbor, Reggie was part of my family as she watched my daughters develop from birth.
Under the direction of Dr. John Kirk (I could never call him "DK" as Reggie did), Reggie, Jerry Schierloh and I formed a team that was unique in the environmental education world. Lots of environmental centers had science and recreation staff, but few, if any, had a humanities/social studies specialist. Reggie filled this role as no one else could. Tens of thousands of kids and adults who spent time in residence at SOC will remember their experience in Degroat Cabin spinning wool. Thanks to Reggie's work as SOC librarian, teachers and graduate students were able to utilize the collection in the LB Sharp Memorial Library to research a wide variety of environmental topics. She even used her cats as part of her humanities lesson.
Many people are unlikely to know that Reggie was a member of the Nordic Ski Patrol. For years Reggie accompanied groups of cross country skiers on tours over trails in Sussex County.
She was a woman of many talents. There was no one like her. I will miss her a great deal.
It was really great seeing so many of Reggie's School of Conservation and Camp Wapalanne friends present for her service earlier today! I'm sure she would have cherished the thought of all those who had come, or who sent messages from a distance, to honor her memory. May this serve as my Special Tribute to the New Jersey School of Conservation colleague who shared my passion for Outdoor and Environmental Education for 30 of my years at the School (1969-1999). There is no doubt that Regina Kelly made significant contributions to the infusion of the Humanities into the substance and soul of New Jersey Environmental Education. She was also a veritable 'Rolodex' of information about all who had ever been staff, support staff, or key personnel at the School, and always made every effort to make sure that all were included in SOC functions. Her support of the 50th Anniversary of the School helped to make it a truly historic event. On a personal level, she was a caring and generous friend to our family. A countless number of fellow educators who were steeped in the nascent foundations of Environmental Education and SOC history will truly miss her!!
My sincerest love thoughts and wishes to denise and the kelly family and friends
My memories of Reggie are from many years ago when we started as camp counselors together and then worked at NJSOC as assistant professors. She was fun, hard-working and had a wonderful dry wit. I last saw her at the 50th anniversary of the School of Conservation and will always remember her for her many talents and her reverence for life. My condolences to her family. She will be sorely missed, I'm sure.
My husband, Richard Sentpal, and I are so very saddened to learn of the untimely passing of our dear friend and colleagues, Reggie Kelly. We were fortunate to have had the honor and pleasure of first meeting her during the late 70's at NJSOC. At that time, Dennis Paporello, Rich and I were running a residential summer camp for the disabled students of A. Harry Moore School-the A. Harry Moore Camp at NJSOC. Reggie became a fast friend and we recall many time of frolicking and good fun at her NJSOC quarters as well as in Montague. As so many have noted, we were constantly impressed and entertained by her wit and intelligence. She shared her love of nature with all who surrounded her, including the students and campers of A. Harry Moore School/Camp. Always an advocate for our work with the children, she volunteered many times during the summer to provide them with personalized outdoor experiences in the Corral,at De Groats Cabin, Piney Point, and more. We trust that the family knows that Reggie touched and influenced many of our lives and she will remain dear in our hearts and memories.
Please accept our sincere wishes of comfort and sympathy at this most difficult time of loss.
Correction, I was one of the Directors at the NJSOC between 2000 and 2006.
Our deepest sympathy goes out to the entire kelly family...
“The mountains are calling and I must go.” -John Muir
Reggie was ...loved with a love beyond all telling and will be missed with a grief beyond all tears...
There is no way I can ever thank Reg enough for the knowledge and kindness she shared with me from the first time we met (at my interview for an SOC Fellowship..."Is that a Claddagh ring?")...I knew we would become true buds...to our Good Friday lunches, where she always said,"OH, we will just have to suffer with lobster and shrimp", due to our fasting regulations on that day. She has taught me so much about Environmental Education and the Socratic method of getting students to THINK! I just cannot express how much she has touched my heart and soul. To me... Regina Kelly ...is a synonym for Environmental Education AND the NJ School of Conservation.
Rest in peace Ms. Reg. I'll miss my co-counselor.
Reggie I will miss you so much... our friendship has carried on for nearly 40 years... time may have passed, but the friendship and respect remains the same. You have spread and shared your love of the out of doors and your knoowledge of heritage and reverance for our history.... with thousands of children and adults alike... so many memories of so many childhoods include Reggie Kelly of SOC... much love, please rest in peace in the knowledge that your time on earth was full of good and of love. Bill Reeves
One hell of a lady who I will miss learning from, laughing with, and confiding in.
Death and grief can be so difficult, by may special memories help you to cope.
I was one of the Directors of the NJSOC between 1993 and 2000. I will forever have fond and respectful memories of Reggie. I know for a fact that she touched the lives of countless students. She was always gracious and kind to me, my wife, and my children. I believe her tenure at the NJSOC made it a better facility and program than it would have been without her. Her dedication to the program and the school were unmatched.