Let the memory of Helen be with us forever
  • 83 years old
  • Born on April 24, 1931 .
  • Passed away on June 13, 2014 .

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Helen Kelly, 83, born on April 24, 1931 and passed away on June 13, 2014. We will remember her forever.

Helen Anne Kelly, 83, of Mill Valley, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, June 13th, 2014 while on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Israel. A devoted mother and grandmother, she is survived by her four children, Michael, Kathy (Michael) Giannini, Colleen (Myles) Ericson, and Sean (Julie) Kelly, and five grandchildren, Siobhan, Ryan, Kelly, Logan, and Luke, and treasured sister and brother Flossie Harrington and Bob McDonagh.


Helen was born in San Francisco, raised in Sacramento, and returned to the City where she received her Nursing Diploma from St. Mary’s College of Nursing. It was here that she met, and was later married for 50 years, to the late Neil Joseph Kelly. Helen and Neil chose Marin to raise their family. Over the course of 30 years, Helen worked as the Head Nurse at Sunny Hills of San Anselmo. 


Her legacy was her connection to family and friends.  Through entertaining, travel, phone calls, pictures and letters she stayed connected with scores of loved ones throughout the U.S., Ireland, and Australia.   Because of her faith and “love in action,” she lived her life passionately and in service, and devotion. She was the “hub” of care for all who knew her. 

As an active community member, she gave tirelessly of herself until she died. She was a charter member of the United Irish Cultural Center, Associate of The Holy Faith Sisters and an active member of St. Hilary’s Church & School since 1962. She served on multiple committees including the Senior Lunch Program, Tuesday Morning Women’s Group, Charismatic Prayer Group, Lector and Eucharistic Ministry and the coordinator and educator for Beginning Experience. She was an active Outside Volunteer at San Quentin where she served as co-facilitator of the Bible Study Group Discussion, participated in the Restorative Justice program and the Taize Community. While at San Quentin, she was a Lector in the Eucharistic Ministry, and attended weekly mass with Men in Blue.


Please join us to celebrate her wonderful life and the joy she shined on all who knew her at a memorial service on Saturday, August 2th  2014 at 11:00 at St. Hilary Catholic Church, Tiburon. The services will be followed by a reception.

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to any of Helen’s favored charities.

Epilepsy Foundation
Sisters of Holy Faith
Jesuit Prison Ministry
Catholic Charities




Posted by Mike Kelly on 4th May 2018
Hi Mom, Happy Birthday ! Recently visited your tree outside the church. It's looking very healthy. Miss you , think about you just about every day. We've had some visitors from Ireland recently from both the Kelly and McDonagh side of the family. The Irish "connection" lives on as does your love for all of us. Love you, Michael
Posted by Mary O'Riordan on 13th June 2017
You are missed every day. Sending love - so lucky to have had you as a true friend. I know you are with all of us still and we feel your love and strength. Mary O'Riordan
Posted by Gayle Weatherby on 13th June 2017
All my love and prayers to Michael, Kathy, Colleen and Sean & their family: Big hugs and prayers, I loved your mother and I know she is looking down with her smile and love and guiding us all with her love. Gayle
Posted by Tony Shine on 13th June 2017
Michael, Kathy, Colleen and Sean, You and all your family members are very much in our thoughts on this the third anniversary of your mother Helen's death. We still miss her great Christmas letters, our occasional phone calls and her visits to us here in Ireland very much. Of course she would not want us to grieve unnecessarily so we are consoled by remembering so many good times together. Tony and Marion Shine
Posted by Mary O'Riordan on 25th April 2017
I know you are in complete happiness now and we will all meet again. I miss you and think of you so often - always remembering your solid advice and loving care. I will never forget you and I am always grateful that I knew you and you were in my life.
Posted by Felipe Mucarquer on 24th April 2017
My dearest Helen, You are in my heart a Lighthouse,a crystal wave in the Infinite ocean of life.I may not see you here again,Helen,but your Victorian Christmas,your joy,will be mine,already forever Dear Helen,How can I thank you enough for being in my road to the Infinite ? I could vave met other people.God gave me the gift of meeting you.Much love. Much love,and gratitude, forever.Felipe Mucarquer
Posted by Tom Harrington on 13th June 2016
Auntie Helen, truly forever missed
Posted by Felipe Mucarquer on 13th June 2016
I always remember you Helen,your joy of living,your magical Christmas, in particular your angelical joy at Christmas,your intense love for this world,your smile,which never left you.I'm sad to remember that you are not longer with us,Dear Helen,but you are with the Father,Our Father,and I'm glad that you will alaways be.Your memory will see me through to the last day of my life.Felipe
Posted by Tony Shine on 13th June 2016
Michael, Kathy, Sean and Colleen, Our thoughts are very much with you all today on the second anniversary of your mother's death. Tony and Marion Shine
Posted by Tony Shine on 15th June 2015
Michael, Kathy, Sean and Colleen, you are very much in our thoughts during these difficult days which mark the first anniversary of your mother's passing. Tony and Marion
Posted by Gayle Weatherby on 15th June 2015
Thinking of Helen and her wonderful"ness"... over the past week and remembering her passing. All my love, thoughts, and prayers.
Posted by Chad Johnson on 14th June 2015
From Mary and Chad Johnson....Thinking of Michael, Kathy, Colleen and Sean and their families a year after the passing of a wonderful person Helen.
Posted by Colleen Ericson on 14th June 2015
unending love, feeling your essence today mom for all the loving presence you gave to make a most beautiful life for us as a family and to all those you touched. xxxooo
Posted by Felipe Mucarquer on 13th June 2015
Helen was and it is for us,many things.The fragility of a a flying buterfly,the sweetness of honey,colors of the rainbow,the strengh of hope,the joy of her Christmas.. Thank you forever Helen.You are in >Heaven now.The place were you were born. Thank you forever
Posted by Chad Johnson on 24th April 2015
Happy Birthday to Helen. Mary and I truly miss you.
Posted by Allan Wood on 31st December 2014
One more candle lighted for this dear woman. I'll remember her smile and her encouragement. It wasn't just the kids who Helen reached and helped to change at Sunny Hills. Helen lifted all of us. She was what made those Sunny Hills shine.
Posted by Anne Bennett on 12th October 2014
I just learned the sad news of Helen's passing. We were classmates at St. Mary's College of Nursing. She was a great nurse, the spirit of our class, and a dear friend. To her family and children whom she loved deeply I send my love and prayers! Always, Anne Bennett
Posted by Catherine Culloty on 27th August 2014
Helen one of the most amazing and fantastic person I had the pleasure of getting to know during my life. I cant believe we will never see you in Ireland again and not receive those wonderful Christmas letters. Christmas wont be the same. We will never forget you and may you rest in peace. One in a Million
Posted by Karol Towns on 29th July 2014
I adored Helen from the moment I met her. How can you not love an Irish woman with red hair that makes the best Irish soda bread and gives even better hugs. Helen was a wonderful listener who wasn't judgmental and gave the most practical advice. She was so vibrant, full of life and had such a good sense of humor. Helen was usually the first one at an event and the last to leave...only of course after she did most of the clean up work. Helen told me a story about arriving at her father's death bed and her father looked at her and said "Slow down Helen". Well I for one am glad that Helen didn't heed her fathers advice as she lived a rich, full life and never once slowed down. Helen I will miss you tremendously and will toast you every St. Patrick's Day when I attempt to make your bread.
Posted by Tony Office on 23rd July 2014
I first met Mrs. Kelly when I was 8 years old, soon after meeting her son and my best friend Michael. Mrs. Kelly was always there for Michael and me, a second mom if you will. I shared countless meals that Helen prepared and of course her sage dinner table advice. I will miss her dearly.
Posted by Rita Scott on 21st July 2014
Helen is with her Lord whom she served completely and lovingly on earth. She is with her Neil, too, and all is right with Helen. She has left us all feeling loved, capable and stronger for having learned from her. I feel very grateful to have experienced Helen during a very difficult transition in my life when I joined Beginning Experience. My prayers are positioned on her family, as they grieve the earthly loss of Helen.
Posted by Janie Ronchelli on 20th July 2014
My husband and I feel truly blessed to have had Helen in our lives. She was someone you felt loved by immediately. She also had the gift to inspire you to give of yourself unconditionally immediately. I miss her so much already and hope that she will continue to inspire me from heaven. I am so grateful she came to our wedding in 2010. I have had the gift of an Irish blessing with a wedding photo on our entrance table. Thank you Helen, Janie and Denis
Posted by Francina LeClercq on 19th July 2014
Helen was a loving, supportive spirit I met when I attended the Tuesday morning Bible Study Group at St Hillary's Church for a few years.Though I'm not Catholic, I was totally welcomed by the group, or as I called them, "The Wise Catholic Ladies." Helen shared her pearls of wisdom gleaned from a life well lived. She was tireless in being of service to so so many. I am truly blessed to have known her.
Posted by Gloria Cruz on 19th July 2014
“Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.” ~ C.S. Lewis Helen we sorely miss your presence here but know you are now reaping the rewards of a life well lived.
Posted by Jovita Addeo on 19th July 2014
There is a void in my world now that Helen isn't in it.

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