After lovingly embracing 80 wonderful years, Nora Lynn "Nornie" (Pearce) Kelly passed away on April 1st, 2021. She was born on March 17, 1941 (luck of the Irish!) in Memphis, TN to Marion (Orth) and Kenneth Pearce. She graduated from Cuyahoga Falls High School and attended the Ohio Wesleyan University, where she was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education. Nora was a lifetime member (50+ years) of the First United Methodist Church in Cuyahoga Falls. She was also a member of Mary Lee Club, Ladies Cemetery Association (Oakwood), and the Stan Hywet Auxiliary Board. She enjoyed providing community service to Mobile Meals and Good Neighbors.
To those that knew Nornie, it was more than a blessing, it was a privilege that leaves an everlasting imprint. She was larger than life in her determination, courage, and love for her family and friends, all reflected in her legacy and her smile. One could not help but be engaged with her joyful approach to life, memorable stories, and listening to her talk about her husband, children, or grandchildren. She had the best sense of humor, always found time to listen, and loved fiercely. We all hope that we can aspire to be a fraction of what she was to everyone who knew her. She was blessed to have two love stories during her lifetime. Her first marriage to Harry Kalbaugh, with whom she had three children, Harry (Bud), Jennifer, and Michael Kalbaugh, was tragically cut short. Gene Kelly "danced" his way into her life, and another love story was written, spending 35 years blissfully happy together. They became a family of eight, with the addition of Scott, Matt, and Brian Kelly. Lots of stories shared with raising six teenagers together!
Nora began her teaching career in Anaheim, CA in 1963 after graduating from Ohio Wesleyan. She returned to Ohio in 1964 to get married and settled in the Cuyahoga Falls School systems, where she enjoyed teaching Third Grade and Title 1 elementary students. She had a passion for reaching every student and relished in their growth. After retiring in 2003, she and Gene happily adapted to traveling and the spending time with grandchildren, her favorite pastime. She was an amazing Nana to their 11 grandchildren, Aidin Kalbaugh, Paul, Michael, and Emma Bernay, Ryan, Daniel, and Kayleigh Kalbaugh, Andrew and Ben Kelly, Logan, and Quinn Kelly, and lived for moments spent with family.
She and Gene spent many years travelling, one of the many things they enjoyed. Her other passion was her children, often showcasing her pride in each of them. She also loved to garden, sew, play bridge, Mah-jongg, "a mean game"of Farkle, crochet, play the piano, bake chocolate chip cookies and banana bread for her grandchildren, and spending time with Gene. To those that knew her were those that loved her, as she touched every heart she encountered with the sincerest form of compassion. She was so much more than words on paper, larger than life itself, and will leave a powerful mark on those she knew and loved. The dash line of her life, from 1941 - 2021, is filled with blessings, triumphs, celebrations, and joy. We are all honored and grateful to help her spend and fill her dash.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Marion and Kenneth Pearce, and her first husband Harry Kalbaugh. She is survived by her wonderful husband Gene, children Harry "Bud" Kalbaugh (Stephanie Daugherty) of Reynoldsburg, Jennifer (David) Bernay of Reynoldsburg, and Michael (Angie) Kalbaugh of Jamestown, NC, sisters Judy Kaufmann of Cuyahoga Falls and Cindy (Larry) Fedak of Palm Desert, CA, her beloved 11 grandchildren, stepsons Scott (Yuko) Kelly of Galloway, Matt (Amy) Kelly of Portland, OR, Brian (Caitlin) Kelly of Silver Springs, MD, along with adored and loved nieces and nephews. Memorial contributions can be made in her memory at the ALS Foundation of Northern Ohio chapter, by visiting http://web.alsa.org/site/TR/PersonalFund/NorthernOhio?px=8560692&pg=personal&fr_id=10057 Haven of Rest, Oakwood Chapel, or Good Neighbors of Cuyahoga Falls. A celebration of life service will be held at The First United Methodist Church in Cuyahoga Falls on April 10th at 12:00pm with Pastor Mike Ward officiating.
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