St Monica's Catholic Church
725 California Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403
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Nancy Claire Kelsey

1923 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Nancy Claire Kelsey Obituary
November 2, 1923 - February 26, 2016 Nancy Claire Mihan Kelsey Nancy's parents Arnold and Virginia O'Reilly Mihan traveled by train from California back to Virginia's family home in Kansas City, MO for the birth of their first child, Nancy, and then returned to California a month later. Nancy and her two younger brothers were raised in the Windsor Square area of Los Angeles where she would tell stories of her roller skating days: Nancy was always the "tail" in Crack the Whip for she would never let go, her long red curly hair flowing in the wind. Nancy attended St. Brendan's School, Immaculate Heart High School, and USC, graduating from the latter in three years. After graduation she volunteered as an aide at Children's Hospital in the operating room. In 1947 she attended a Young Republicans' event during which she was invited out on three dates; one of the suitors was Van Rensselaer Kelsey to whom she would marry seven months later. Her political preference was sealed forever. Nancy and Van raised their three children, Kathleen, Van III, and Mark two blocks from Nancy's family home. Nancy lived by the adage "your spouse always comes first" and Van was the great love of her life. Nancy was a loving, intelligent, beautiful, and sometimes contrary wife (often humorously contrary) and a devoted mother to her three children. Each child, grandchild, and even great grandchild always thought that s/he was her favorite. Nancy Kelsey made each soul feel its worth. Nancy was also involved in the community as a member or leader of the Social Service Auxiliary, Blue Ribbon 500, Holy Family Adoption Service, Trojan League and volunteerism at her children's schools. She treasured her summers in Balboa and was a fierce competitor in tennis and paddle tennis. Thanksgiving in the desert for the past forty five years, surrounded by all her family, was her favorite tradition. Nancy enjoyed her nightly glass of white wine, reading Charles Dickens and poetry, and her late night television show. Van and Nancy traveled extensively for Van's business and with their many friends. Nancy's witty, sometimes irreverent presence made more fun for all. Nancy was a devout Catholic and just recently summoned all her children to watch Pope Francis' Mass in Mexico. Her generous love of family and friends was how she lived her religion. These last six years, Nancy had the companionship of two wonderful women Cristina and Blanca who began their journey with Nancy as helpers and were with her until the end of her life. Recently Nancy was predeceased by her two younger brothers, Dr. Richard Mihan and Msgr. John Mihan, over whom she always watched. Nancy is survived by her daughter Kathleen Kelsey Macker (Timothy); sons Van R. Kelsey III (Diane); and Mark R. Kelsey. Grandchildren Timothy C. Macker jr. (Courtney), Edward A. Macker (Laura), Thomas R. Macker (Natalia), Darren Nutt and Carissa Carter (Ray). Also Nancy is survived by the latest joys of her life, her great-grandchildren, Kelsey, Eleanor, Kendall, Keely, Alisdair and Tomasa. Funeral Mass on Monday March 7th, 10:30 a.m. at St. Monica Church, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica. Log into http://obituaries.invocare.com/tribute/ to view obituary information and to sign Nancy's online guestbook.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 4 to Mar. 6, 2016
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