Cynthia Kelly
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Cynthia Brown Kelly

Cynthia Brown Kelly - whose life was best captured by her favorite song "You are the Sunshine of my Life" - beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to so many, passed away, on Palm Sunday, March 29, while her cherished nephew Monsignor John Talesfore prayed the Our Father with us all beside her.
Cynthia was a third generation San Franciscan, with an exuberant zest for life. She was our family convener, lovingly gathering generations of Browns together throughout her lifetime. She was fully engaged in politics, art, the great outdoors, and most important her family and wide circle of friends.
She attended West Portal School, Aptos, Convent of the Sacred Heart and Star of the Sea Academy where she was Valedictorian, and where she met her lifelong friends Jean Walker Lowell and Eileen Mellon Shea. Cynthia was a member of Delta Gamma sorority and graduated from San Jose State in 1955 with a degree in Education. She taught elementary school and enthusiastically continued her adult education at USF and Stanford.
Cynthia was the proud daughter of Gov. Edmund G. "Pat" and Bernice Brown, and the cherished sister of Barbara Casey Siggins, Gov. Jerry Brown (Anne Brown) and former Treasurer Kathleen Brown (Van Gordon Sauter).
Cynthia married the love of her life, Joseph Ignatius Kelly in 1957 and was blessed with 58 years of love and laughter in marriage. She was the beloved mother of Kathleen (Kevin Holl), Joe, Jr., Carol (Andrew Clark); Patricia (Dennis Carlin) and Cynny (Patrick Sheehan). She was the adored "Noni" to Kaitlin and Claire Cynthia Holl; Joe Joe Kelly, Andrew and Emily Clark; Denny, Cynny and Bernie Carlin; Kelly, Patrick and Kevin Sheehan.
She loved parties and dancing and hosted a record number of baptisms, first communions, graduations, weddings, birthdays and fourth of July celebrations. She was an avid tennis player and swimmer. In fact, she carried her bathing suit everywhere she traveled.
Cynthia served on the boards of the SF Fine Arts Museums and the Modern Art Council. She was a personal friend to some of our most distinguished local artists. She also served on the board of the Foundation of SF City College and Heritage House.
Deepest thanks to Elizabeth Fairbanks, Bernie Hennessey, Dr. James Davis and UCSF team including Drs. Conant, Dall'Era, Poe, Santhosh, Landefeld and Adler for their loving care.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated Monday, April 6 at St. Cecilia Church, 2555 17th Ave., SF at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to UCSF Foundation.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Apr. 1 to Apr. 3, 2015.
Memorial Mass
11:00 AM
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Duggan's Serra Mortuary
Not sure what to say?
22 entries
March 26, 2019
Our Dear Dear Cynthia:
This would be our 62 years of friendship. We miss our annual lunch/dinner reunions with you & Joe as well as your annual Christmas telephone calls.
We still look forward to our reunion lunches with Joe & feel you are there in spirit with us.
You are the brightest star in the heavens, watching over Joe & your loved ones.
Your DNA will live on forever.
Frank & Pat Kim
March 26, 2019
Cynthia and her gracious and kind smile and inquisitive nature will always be remembered. We shared many fun times at Tahoe and La Quinta with Cynthia and Joe and our prayers will always be with her.
dorothy kitt
June 4, 2017
Judy Knutsen
April 10, 2015
Blessings to the Brown and Kelly family. So
sorry to hear about Cynthia. We were classmates at West Portal and Aptos as well
as neighborhood friends. Remember get to
gathers at the Brown's house and little brother
Jerry escaping all the girls. Fond memories of
Cynthia and growing up in San Francisco.
Liz Johnstone-Cecchi
now in Bend, OR
April 10, 2015
My condolences to all of the Kelly and Brown families
Norman Dudum
April 9, 2015
The Sisters of the Presentation are praying for you, your family and friends during this difficult time. May God bless you with love, comfort and peace.
Presentation Sisters
April 7, 2015
To Joe and family, we were so saddened to hear of Cynthia's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Richard & Lynda Draper, Fresno, Ca.
April 7, 2015
The BrownFamily gave candid insights to their growing up days in the ForestHillsArea and spoke of the strict control that church schooling had on them during the eulogy.
April 7, 2015
So sorry to hear of Cynthia's passing- one of life's ladies! Condolences from Mary, AnnMarie, Marina and Eileen.
Eileen Lucey
April 6, 2015
My condolences to the entire family. Your mother was one of the nicest and most vibrant persons I have met in my lifetime.
Eric Francois
April 6, 2015
To Joe and Family, My deepest sympathy. Cynthia Rapak
April 5, 2015
Dear Joe and family: Our deepest sympathy to you all. Our love and prayers at this difficult time. God Bless! Ralph & Louise Cicurel
Ralph Cicurel
April 3, 2015
Dear Joe and family, I am in shock at this news and so saddened. Cynnie and I have been best of friends since West Portal Grammar School and Forest Hill buddies. My prayers are with you and your family. Jackie Emmons La Place
April 3, 2015
We have so many wonderful memories of times spent with Cynthia and Joe. Our deepest sympathy to Joe and their children. Our prayers will always be with you. Dorothy & Ted Kitt
April 2, 2015
To Joe, and the entire Kelly family my sincere condolences for your loss . Clare Disse
Clare Disse
April 2, 2015
Dear Joe and Family, Our heartfelt condolences are extended to all of you. Cynthia was beloved by everyone who had the privilege to know her. You are in our thoughts and prayers. The Frank Regan Family
April 2, 2015
My condolences to all in the Kelly family. Cynthia was such a wonderful woman. She lived in and raised such a beautiful family, what a fabulous legacy. She will be dearly missed. I wish you all peace, and comfort in the dear memories of Cynthia.
Theresa Driscoll Moore
April 2, 2015
To Joe and entire extended family, our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. You were blessed with a wonderful person in your lives. Tony and Nora Hall
Tony Hall
April 2, 2015
Dear Joe and Family,

Truly sorry to hear about Cynthia's passing. You two were always a pleasure to be around and were consistent in making people laugh and enjoy life more. I have an important medical appointment Monday but our prayers will be with all of you during her Mass.

Joan and Jack Goodwin
April 2, 2015
Our heart goes out to Joe and the family. Pat and I will always keep the memory of a lovely Cynthia Kelly in our heart and in our mind. Our love to Joe and the family at this difficult time.
Frank and Pat Kim
April 2, 2015
Dear Joe,
Please know that I share your loss and that you and yours are in my thoughts and prayers.
James M. Eaneman, Sr.
Franklin, TN
April 1, 2015
Dear Joe,
We have lost a treasure. Cynthia was a dear, a wonderful friend, an unfailingly good listener,and so fun to be with. we are so happy to have had some wonderful times together. Thank you for agreeing to go on the Charlie trips with us. It gave us more time together. We are thinking of you and praying for strength for you and your family. Love, Joan and Michael Heffernan
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