I was friends with Kelly in the Spanish Immersion program at UM-RC and the Martha Cook Building. She visited my home in Michigan, met my quirky family members and even visited me in Italy one summer. We met up in Spoleto and spent the night at my art center villa place in Perugia. We saw Aida in Grand Rapids, visited Freeport-Michigan, and visited Monet's waterlillies at the Toledo Museum of Art. I drank Sangria at Dominicks with Kelly for the first time and learned what crab Rangoon was. I watched the Naked Mile with Kelly for the first time. My mom has a framed picture of us in Spoleto on the piano with the stenciled letters: "Italia". Kelly lent me a little black dress for the Messiah Dinner and we watched movies like "Dead Poets Society" and "Mr. Holland's Opus" on her VCR in the dorm and talked about our desire to teach history. We both had large facial features and eyes and a few people thought we were related that year. She used slang and had interests I wasn't familiar with my other peers using at the time - I have it in snail mail letters we exchanged: throwing the old pig skin and coughing up a lung...she was learning to cane chairs. At the time we had a deep connection - partially rooted in quirkiness - that I have had with few people and the experience of that friendship made me feel less alone in the world. Unfortunately the friendship ended over a silly mistake I made. I mourned the loss of the friendship with Kelly deeply as Kelly was one of the few people I had so great of a connection with - deep and silly and always interesting and fun. I remember when she dressed up as Tina Turner for Halloween and all the times we got together and studied on Friday and Saturday nights in the Graduate Student Lounge - even though we weren't graduate students we sneaked in in our wool J.Crew sweaters, plaid flannels, and blue jeans. I remember one of those nights lying in the grass on the law quad next to our door and practicing yoga shoulder stand and making formations with my legs - pseudo-gymnast. Kelly was a kindred spirit in learning, silliness, and quirkiness. I remember her doing the single buck time step up and down the Martha Cook dormitory hall and telling me about her friend who did a tap routine to "batman." We shared so many interests. I remember she told me she loved strawberries and cream, Princess Diana, and the name Harrison. We went to see Lyle Lovett together and then at Kelly's urging we waited outside with a few other groupies and were invited on to his tour bus. It was 1996 - December I think. His eyes were very blue and we were awestruck. I said "This is Kelly and she thinks you are brilliant" ... she said to Lyle "phonographic dream." The next day we ran into Spanish class and explained to the teacher, Mabel, what happened and she labeled us as groupies. We both loved public radio, tap dance, Lyle Lovett, Princess Diana, vintage, European stuff, and learning new things. I'm so sorry that her family and friends and the world has lost Kelly and I wish I had never lost her as a friend because she was one of the best friends I have ever had. She also lent me her wicker couch for a summer or a school year while she was in Spain. I drove her to the airport in Detroit for a funeral. I met her dad and brother when they picked her up at UM to bring her back for x-mas break and upcoming study abroad in Spain. I was so sad because I knew it would never be the same. I would graduate while Kelly was in Spain and we would never be in a dorm again together - someone to knock on the door and exchange wake up calls and share clothing. Kelly was the best and truly enriched my life.
Dear Feeney Family,
I just learned of Kelly's passing. I was a classmate of David's and knew her during my time at Roosevelt School. I remember her as a very kind person. My prayers are with you.
I am so sorry for your loss. I remember Kelly's smile and her wry sense of humor from our time at the j school. I will keep her and her friendship, kindness and spirit in my heart.
Dear Feeney family -- I just learned about Kelly's passing in the Columbia Journalism School newsletter. She was in my Race & Ethnicity class in the spring of 2001, and I remember what a kind, funny and genuine person she was. Very sorry to hear about the news. Sending condolences.
--Christian Red/New York Daily News
I just got word of Kelly's passing last November. I am a retiree of the Newark Publc Schools and Kelly was my Valic representative for some years. She was a lovely person and I am very saddened to hear of her death. Once when we met she had just returned from a cooking school in Italy and shared her wonderful experience. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the Feeney family.
I am sorry for your loss. She was a great professor and a wonderful woman.
Dear Feeney Family:
I just heard the news about Kelly from a beautiful picture that was posted of her in the New York Times, which I'm sure you saw.
I was a friend of Kelly's at the University of Michigan but in the years since we graduated we lost touch. Notwithstanding, its with a very heavy heart that I think of your loss. Kelly was an amazing spirit - her eyes and smile were always twinkling with a new joke, a new idea, a new plan and her brightness infected us all.
My thoughts are with you and your family. I am so sorry for your, and te world's loss.
Dear Feeny Family
I am soo sorry for your loss. I knew Kelly from the shore. She was always kind. I wish you peace during this difficult time.
Our class will miss you a lot. You were an amazing professor.
I am so sorry for your loss.
I'm so sorry to hear about Kelly. She was a very sweet, diligent, caring and friendly person and though I have only seen her once since high school, I have always remembered her. Best wishes and condolences to her family.
Dear Feeney family
I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss. Will always remember Kelly's kindness and lovely smile, she brightened up so many days while we were at journalism school together. Thinking of you all, Susana
RIP! You may be gone but not forgotten.
Dear Shawn and Family,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My family will keep you in our prayers.
Dear Feeney Family, I am so very sorry for your loss. Kelly was such a lovely person. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Our deepest condolences to the Feeney Family on your loss. We will always remember Kelly as such a wonderful, kind and caring person to everyone. May she rest in peace.
I will always remember Kelly as a wonderful and spirited person. She was kind to everyone and exceptionally thoughtful. I am deeply saddened by the news of her death. Wishing the Feeney family solace during this difficult time.
Words cannot describe how saddened I am to hear of Professor Feeney's passing. I attend her Saturday classes and always looked forward to her wisdom and knowledge over the subject matter. She has inspired me to become the best at what I do and to feel comfortable expressing my opinion. I have learned so much from her and I'm sure many other people have as well. I will always remember her positive attitude and encouraging words. I know that she is in a better place and will live in many of our hearts and memory. My condolences go out to the Feeney family and their friends. May she rest in peace.
I still can't believe it. Prof. Feeney... Today's my birthday and I find this out...may your soul rest in peace.
Carol, John & family,
Tom and I are so sorry for your loss, our prayers are with you and your family. Kathy & Tom Walsh
rest in peace professor feeney. i enjoyed your class, you were such a sweet lady.
Carole, I can not imagine the pain you and John are experiencing, so sorry for your loss. Sincerely, Marge Brodo Swick
You were one of the good ones, Kelly. Truly loved by those who came to know you. You'll be missed.
I am shocked and saddened by this terrible news. Sweet memories remain of a lovely girl and diligent soccer player. My thoughts and prayers are with the Feeney family.
SORRY TO hear this....rest in peace...
Kelly was such a wonderful friend. I remember fondly all of the sleep overs and great times we shared. I am so sorry for your loss.
My deepest condolences. Kelly was one of the sweetest people I met and am glad I had the opportunity to have known her. I know Kelly is smiling down on all of us. I give the Feeney's my best.
Our deepest condolences on your loss. Both Yolanda and I will continue to keep The Feeney family in our hearts and prayers through this most difficult time.
We are deeply sorry for your loss. We send our sincerest condolences to you and your family.
Please accept my sincerest sympathies on your loss. On Sunday, 11 November, I will celebrate Holy Mass for Kelly and for the entire Feeney Family that the Holy Spirit will fill you with courage, consolation, and peace. May she rest in peace.
Fr. Damien R. Dougherty, O.F.M.