Patricia Virginia Byrd Kelly, age 88, passed away peacefully at her home, Portumna, on Friday, September 4, 2020. Born March 15, 1932 in Baltimore, she grew up there and in Pittsburgh with her three siblings. She attended Notre Dame Preparatory High School graduating in 1950. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Notre Dame College in 1954 and went on to teach for several years at the Children’s Rehabilitation Institute, a residential school for children with special needs.
After a blind date and a two year courtship, Pat wed Dr. Edward M. Kelly in November 1956. They were married at St William of York Church in the Ten Hills section of Baltimore where they raised their ten children. While she had her hands full running a busy and emergent household, Pat was also a committed volunteer at her church and children’s schools, holding leadership positions at St. William of York School and Parish and the Loyola High School Mother’s Club. Her home was a haven for her children and their friends, and her kitchen served legions. There was always a basketball or wiffleball game in her yard, a homemade cake at the ready, and a welcoming smile at her door. Pat was warm, fun, and intellectually curious. She was loved and respected by all who knew her.
After raising her family, Pat volunteered her time at Right to Life of Maryland from 1980 through 1990, dedicating thousands of hours to legislative and educational activities championing the protection of unborn children and their mothers. From 1990 through 2001, Pat worked as a Life Family Issues lobbyist for the Maryland Catholic Conference. In June 1988, she was honored by the Maryland Catholic Conference and the Catholic Bishops of Maryland for her untiring efforts in defense of the unborn. In that same year, Pat was also recognized by the Archdiocese of Washington’s Legislative Network for her outstanding leadership in defending human life. In 1999, Pat was instrumental in the passage and signing into law of House Bill 496, now Chapter 700 of the Acts of the General Assembly of Maryland, promoting the dignity of the human person. Throughout her service in the cause of the unborn, Pat was respected and appreciated by all parties for her integrity, dedication, and exceptional grace.
Surviving, in addition to her husband of 63 years, Edward; are her children, John Kelly (Mary), Susan Walsh (Robert), Ellen Cordrey (Peter), Mary Patricia Wickstrom (Mark), Edward Kelly (Donna), Stephen Kelly, Timothy Kelly, Janet Sause (Barkley), and Anne Marie Carr (Ian); twenty three grandchildren; one great grandchild; and siblings, Austin L. Byrd and Mary Frances Bradyhouse (Richard). She was predeceased by her sister, Ellen Marie, and her oldest daughter, Kathleen Marie, who died in 1983 due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
It is with great sorrow that we say goodbye to Pat - devoted wife, loving mom, “Grammy,” beloved friend, sister, and confidante. She was deeply committed to her faith and set an example of dignity, forbearance, and love. She will be dearly missed by her family and the many communities that she touched over the last 88 years.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 44 Frederick St., Taneytown, MD with Father John Lesnick as celebrant. Burial at the family farm and an outdoor reception will follow immediately.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kathleen Kelly Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Notre Dame Preparatory School, 815 Hampton Lane, Towson, Maryland. Arrangements have been entrusted to Myers-Durboraw Funeral Home in Taneytown, MD.
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