Lorena Ann Kelly

Lorena Ann Kelly Lorena Ann Kelly peacefully entered rest on February 10, 2013 in San Antonio at the age of 80. She started life on August 5, 1932 in Ottawa, Kansas, to parents Eugene James and Mary Margaret Shannon Kelly. In 1942 the family moved to Austin, Texas, where Rena Ann graduated from Austin High School. She attended Ward Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee, and then returned to Austin and graduated from the University of Texas. She moved to New York City where she was employed by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Upon her return to Austin she worked for Texas Parks and Wildlife and was also employed by a local newspaper. In 1972 Rena Ann moved to Marfa to the James A. Shannon family home. She was actively involved in the Marfa Public Library, serving as a member of the board and also as president for many years. Rena Ann also served on the Presidio County Historical Commission where she had been chairman. She started the Marfa Animal Society and was a strong supporter of the Fort Davis Humane Society, Grand Companions. Rena Ann took the requisite class and became an EMS-Basic, and she and her good friend Norma Rivas Martinez were volunteers for ambulance duty for some time. For many years she owned ranch land in south Presidio County and she owned and operated The Iris Shop, a woman's clothing and gift store. Rena Ann was a leading force in the campaign for better health care in Marfa, was instrumental in the creation of the Marfa Community Health Clinic, and at the time of her death was serving on the board of Presidio County Health Services Inc. A well-attended service celebrating the life of Lorena Ann was conducted by Sister Margie and Sister Luz from St. Mary's Catholic Church on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at Rena Ann's home in Marfa. She is survived by her sister Mary Gene Kelly Payne of Aztec, N.M., niece Mary Ann Payne Norris and husband Kenny of Aztec, and nephew Charles Joseph Payne and wife Pam of El Paso and by numerous great nieces and great nephews, many cousins, and countless friends. She is also survived by special lifelong friends, AKA "The Old Ladies"--- Martha Bengston, Marilyn "Pinky" Donoho, and Lizzie Goodrich. She was passionate in her love of animals and respected the tireless efforts of Fort Davis Grand Companions (P.O. Box 1156, Fort Davis, TX. 79734). She also supported the Blackwell School Alliance (P.O. Box 417, Marfa, TX. 79843) and their efforts to preserve and restore the last remaining building of the old Blackwell School where her mother had been a teacher and principal. Lorena Ann Kelly lived a wonderful, adventurous, and fulfilling life. Her memory will be cherished and treasured by all who loved her.

Published in Austin American-Statesman on Feb. 24, 2013