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Oroville, CA 95965
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Ruth Ann Kelly

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It is impossible to describe and share 91 years of unselfish love from a Mother for her family.

Ruth Ann Kelly entered eternal life with Jesus, her Lord and Savior in Heaven, on April 1, 2009.

Ruth was born June 10, 1917 in Waverly, Iowa. The youngest daughter of Timothy and Della Clary, she was preceded in death by her brother, Clifford and sisters, Gracie, Marjorie and Mary.

 Raised in Iowa, she completed two years of college, majoring in accounting. She was married on May 31, 1945 in Tallahassee, Florida to Donald P. Kelly upon his return from military service during World War II. They moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, where their son Michael was born on July 25, 1946. Due to Don's health, they relocated to Tucson, Arizona in 1949. In Tucson, they gave birth to son Timothy on January 23, 1951 and daughter Cynthia on September 17, 1954. On December 21, 1962, Ruth's life was changed, when Don died from injuries suffered during World War II. During Don's long illness, she had begun working for the City of Tucson. As one of the first two women hired as a Police & Fire Department dispatcher she opened doors to a position that is now dominated by women. Working constantly changing shifts, this single mother would always put raising her family first. She scheduled her work to always allow her to attend activities of her growing children. She retired from the City of Tucson after 23 years service.

Ruth was a remarkable woman, working full time, while loving and providing for three children, she was also actively involved at St. Cyril's Parish in Tucson. She volunteered at the school, was a Eucharistic minister and took communion to sick and homebound church members. Ruth always helped, yet never asked for help or complained when things were difficult. Raised during the Depression, she knew the value of a dollar and never wasted one, while still providing for her family's needs. She made sure all three of her children graduated from college which she wished she had been able to complete.

Ruth enjoyed reading, sewing, traveling, and family gatherings. Ruth's family was her focus, supporting her children and grandchildren in every way. Her family was perfect and if anyone said different, she set them straight.

 Over the years, relocation of her children left her alone in Tucson, so in 2001 she moved to Oroville, California, living next door to her daughter. She became a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish. Although she was no longer able to be as active as she had been, she attended daily mass, especially enjoying services attended by the school children. She lived independently until August 2008 when her hip was fractured in a fall. The injury led to other health complications for her.

Ruth is survived by her sons:  Mike Kelly (Texas), Tim Kelly (Colorado) and his wife Joyce, and daughter Cyndee Bourassa (California) and her husband Chip. She has six grandchildren:  Shannon Dippenaar (Colorado) and her husband Johan, parents of Ruth's first great-grandson, Noah, Ryan Kelly (Texas), Katie Kelly (Colorado), Michael Bourassa (North Carolina), Derek Bourassa (California), and Spencer Bourassa (California).

 Ruth was strong in her faith and commitment to family and friends. Her love, friendship, and compassion will be deeply missed.

A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Thomas the Apostle on Monday, April 13, 2009 at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her name to St. Thomas Parish in Oroville, California or St Cyril's Parish in Tucson, Arizona.

Arrangements are entrusted to Oroville Funeral Home in Oroville, California (530 533-0323).
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Apr. 9, 2009
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