Marion Opal Kelly

Marion Opal Kelly, 72, of Hermosa SD, was granted her angel wings June 21, 2019 at Hans P Peterson Memorial Hospital in Philip, SD.

Marion was born May 22, 1947 in Billings, MT to Charles and Marion Opal (Pittman) Hazen and spent most of her childhood growing up around Greybull, WY with her six siblings. She graduated from Greybull High School in 1965 and moved to Cheyenne, WY living with her older sister.

While in Cheyenne she met her knight in shining armor and love of her life William J Kelly. They were married November 26, 1966 and welcomed their first son, William in August of 1967 and their second son, Scott on May 8, 1970. In 1973 Bill was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force Base and he and Marion settled in Hermosa SD.

Marion was married to an airman and thus kept busy with various jobs before being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1982 and continued working until 1986. However, her most beloved vocation was being a wife and mother. She was not afraid to get down and wrestle with her ornery boys. They were her pride and joy, that is, until grandkids came along. Marion handled the setbacks of life with such grace and humor that apart from her wheelchair, you’d never know her struggles of MS or cancer (which she beat twice!)

Bill and Marion never let her diagnosis slow them down and made sure they lived life to the fullest. They were often found traveling extensively and enjoying many places like San Francisco, Yellow Stone Park, Florida, the Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Launch, Disney World, Pike’s Peak, and the Balloon Festival in Albuquerque to name a few. As the years went on their travels became closer to home as they started chasing grandkids to rodeos, wrestling tournaments, volleyball games and other school events. As their grandkids left home and went to college, Marion loved to take them out to eat. Any friend of her kids or grandkids, was a friend of hers. She was everyone’s grandma because she was just so invested in everyone around her.

In April of 2018, Marion suffered a setback and after a hospital stay, was unable to return home. She moved to the Philip Hospital in May 2018 and over to the Philip Nursing Home in August 2018. While residing at the Philip Nursing Home she made many friends. One person she became very close to, Jeanette Burnett who was also her roommate. Jeanette and Marion shared a sweet friendship that was comforting to our family when we couldn’t be there with her. Marion enjoyed watching the Andy Griffith Show, the Golden Girls, listening to classic country, antagonizing Bill and getting into trouble with her quick wit. Her laughs were so heartfelt that it most often came out as gasping for air, which made the rest of us laugh even harder! Marion had many great memories in her last year in Philip. She often saw her kids and grandkids, enjoyed several birthday parties, celebrated her 52nd wedding anniversary, rode in a parade, received several manicures, and shared many gasping belly laughs. She was a treasure to everyone she met. We have peace knowing that she is now free of pain and will forever be our sassy angel.

Survivors include her husband William "Bill" Kelly of Hermosa; two sons William "Bill" (Sandy) Kelly of Philip and Scott (Susan) Kelly of Sioux Falls; two sisters Beverly (Robert) Chapman of Cheyenne, WY and Alice "Jeannie" (Charles) Kastl of Twin Falls, ID; two brothers Harold (Diane) Hazen of Worland, WY and George (Judy) Hazen of Worland, WY; eight grandchildren: Matt, Marla, Dace, Mariah, Nicolle, Rachel, Chase, and Caleb; five great-grandchildren: Koyer, Quintin, Tel, Tess, and Taya; and a host other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; one brother Gary Hazen, and one sister Debra Hatcher.

In lieu of flowers a memorial is established to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the American Cancer Society.

A visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. with a rosary service at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Philip.

Visitation will be held 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 27 with Mass of Christian Burial at 1 p.m. at St. Michael's Catholic Church in Hermosa.

Interment will follow at 3 p.m. at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.

The Pioneer Review

221 E. Oak Street
Philip, SD 57567
Telephone: (605) 859-2516
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