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Delores Casale Kelley

May 25, 1932 - May 3, 2023

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Delores Casale Kelley died peacefully on 5/3/2023 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Delores was born on 5/25/1932 in Portland, Maine, to Michael and Mary Walsh Casale, the second oldest of four sisters. After graduating from Cathedral High School in 1950, she attended St. Joseph’s College in Windham Maine, where she earned a degree in elementary education. She taught for one year in Newport, RI, before returning to Portland, and marrying Donald Kelley, also from Portland, in 1955. They had three children: Deborah, Susan and John (“Jay”).

Delores returned to teaching, her passion, when her son Jay started first grade. She taught third grade in Fairfax Country public schools for 35 years, first at Quander Road elementary, and then finally at Hayfield elementary, where she became something of an institution. Mrs. Kelley was known for her sometimes stern loud voice, and her love of all things Irish, particularly St. Patrick’s Day, which was an annual, almost month-long celebration every year in her class. Her many students over the years would come back to visit her, and she seemed to remember each one. After her retirement, she enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren, and traveling to elder hostels with her many teacher friends, where her lifelong love of learning continued. She also returned every summer to Peaks Island, Maine to spend time with old friends.

Delores was predeceased by her parents, her husband, her three sisters Barbara O’Hara, Marilou Barron, and most recently her sister and best friend, Carmela Paradis, only last week. She is survived by her daughters Debbe Kelley (Charlie Beehler) and Susan Koeppen (Robert Koeppen), and her son John “Jay” Kelley, her granddaughter Kelley Koeppen, and her grandson Christiaan Segura (Terri Segura) and great-granddaughters Norah and Emi Segura. She is also survived by many much-loved nieces, nephews and friends. A mass of Christian Burial will be held in Alexandria, Virginia in June, where Delores lived most of her life.

Delores’ family would like to express its deep gratitude for the loving gentle care provided by New Hazen Senior Home in Kirkland, Washington, for the last two years, and the wonderful support provided by EvergreenHealth Hospice. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research [michaeljfox.org] or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital [www.stjude.org].