Joanne B Kelley (April 18, 1932 - July 17, 2023)

In loving memory of
Joanne B Kelley
  • April 18, 1932
  • -
  • July 17, 2023

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Obituary

Joanne Beatrice (Kissell) Kelley, 91, of Cape Coral, FL, passed away Monday July 17,2023, after a brief illness.

Joanne was born in South Bend, IN, to Herbert and Genevieve Kissell on April 18, 1932. She is predeceased by her parents and 3 of her brothers, John, Robert, and Jim. She is survived by her youngest brother Herbert (Dorothy) Kissell.

Joanne graduated from John Adams High in South Bend in 1950 where she caught the eye of an upperclassman, John “Jack” Michael Kelley. They were married on February 2, 1952. After welcoming 9 children, they relocated briefly to Goshen, IN. After accepting a transfer with Jack’s job. Joanne showed her resilience by leaving her parents and the familiarity for 37 years of Indiana, moving south to Elizabeth City, NC. As traumatic as it was for her, she later reflected on the move as a blessing to raise her large family in the small coastal town. The homemaker, despite never attending college, became a savvy business woman, capitalizing on the skills she developed mothering 9 children, to launch her career at Albemarle Ear Nose and Throat as the office manager when a new doctor opened his practice in town. She served in that capacity for 10 years. Although she was never afforded the opportunity to continue her education, she always emphasized the importance of college for her own daughters and granddaughters.

Joanne would show her adaptability when she relocated to Toms River, NJ, once again for her husband’s career. There she landed the position of office manager for Ocean Gyn and OB Associates. It was a perfect match combining her medical assistant skills and her love of babies! She served in that role for 16 years.

After retiring , Joanne and Jack moved to Cape Coral, FL, in 2000. Jack often referred to SWFL as “Paradise” and although she did love the weather, she was less enthusiastic. Missing her children and grandchildren she was a trooper and jumped right in to building their perfect life. They became members of St Andrew Catholic Church. They joined Newcomers group and volunteered at Cape Coral Hospital for 12 years. Joanne quickly warmed up to SWFL living joining in her favorite activities of Friday night dominoes, mahjong, and her beloved Bunco. They traveled mostly to visit family and attend family events. Jack passed away November 14, 2014, after 62 years of marriage. Joanne continued to call Cape Coral home until her death agreeing with her husband that it was close to perfect for her.

She was an accomplished baker and cake decorator delighting her children and grandchildren with her confections. She was a great cook and she loved feeding people. She had a lot of practice and always made enough to feed an army, insisting you could easily squeeze in an extra chair or two at the table. All were welcome.

She was an accomplished bargain shopper and coupon queen. She honed her skills while raising her children and her shopping and coupon acumen was evident even until the end.

She was an avid reader. She stayed current and relevant on, technology, pop-culture, and especially sports. She was faithful and prayerful. She believed in leaving things better than you found them. She was kind and she was loved.

She will be greatly missed by her surviving nine children, Teresa (Thomas) Mooney, Mary Lou Kelley, John (Kimberly) Kelley Jr., Eileen (Peter-deceased) Hartley, Margaret Kelley, Patrick (Elizabeth) Kelley, Carole(Jeffrey) Knighton, Gerald (Leesa) Kelley, Thomas (Ava) Kelley, her 23 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren, her many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends she made along the way.

A funeral Mass will take place at St Andrew Catholic Church at 11:30 am on August 19, 2023. Interment will immediately follow at Coral Ridge Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made in loving memory of Joanne Kelley to:  Thrive,  thriveswfl.org, a safe haven for women to move from surviving to thriving. Based in Cape Coral FL empowering pregnant women and single mothers to reach their God-given potential; or Hope Hospice, hopehcs.org, where loving compassionate care was given to Joanne and her family.


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  1. Clarisa Hyson lit a candle:
    23 Aug 2023
    Lit since August 23, 2023 at 8:26:51 PM

  2. Sue Sutton Williams says:
    18 Aug 2023
    What a beautiful and kind woman that will truly be missed. She always had a smile and a twinkle in her eye. She made raising 9 look easy, so I thought she needed one more!! ME!! I will be eternally grateful for her,and the entire Kelley family for shaping my life ( and not making my Easter basket too hard to find)
    I’m raising a glass! Cheers
    Sue Sutton Williams

  3. Dr Ethan Langford says:
    31 Jul 2023
    To my favorite patient and friend. You were always a ray of light in my day that brought joy. I am happy you and your husband are together again. We will always remember you with a warm smile. We miss you

  4. Dr Ethan Langford lit a candle:
    31 Jul 2023
    Lit since July 31, 2023 at 7:43:09 PM

  5. G8C9 says:
    31 Jul 2023
    My dear Joanne, who I only met the last months of your life here on this earth. You worked a miracle in me at Fr. Paul‘s birthday party. I pray for peace and comfort for your children. “ Ya done good.” Say hello to my mom for me. Until we meet again, May you rest in peace. XO

  6. Nancy says:
    31 Jul 2023
    My Dear Joanne who I only met in the last few months on your life on this earth. You worked a miracle in me the day we met at Fr. Paul ‘s Birthday party. I am forever grateful for our brief friendship. Prayers of comfort and peace for your children. “Ya done good.” Please say hello to my Mom for me. May you rest in peace. Until we meet again. XO

  7. Nancy lit a candle:
    31 Jul 2023
    Lit since July 31, 2023 at 7:26:34 PM

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