521 East Main Street | Niles, MI | 49120
Obituary of Catherine Delores Kelly
Catherine, or affectionately called “Cat” at home, was the last child born to Constance Akins (Kelly) and Oliver Kelley on November 19, 1964; in Paw Paw, Michigan. She attended Moccasin and Ottawa Elementary schools in Buchanan, Michigan. She went on to Buchanan Middle School and High School. Cathy was a silent, strong-willed adventurous spirit at an early age. These adventures would lead and follow her through life-shaping her view of the world and herself. She was a very introspective person. She was a lot like our mother. She grew into a pearl of wisdom beyond her years, but not before she hit her 20s! At eight years old Cathy took her tender heart and surrendered it to the Lord. But as with most teens, that became easier said than done at times. She proved her adventurousness when as a teen of 15, when she and a friend decided they would go on the expedition of their lives hitchhiking to Mexico, BAREFOOTED. Soon after, she decided to go solo to Canada, a place off the top of her head just on impulse she decided to visit. As I said, she was an adventurous, free-spirited soul. A little unorthodox? ABSOLUTELY! But these are the experiences that made Cathy, “Cat.” The compassionate, analytical, loving, generous, no-nonsense woman she came to be. Cathy officially dropped out of high school at the liberating age of 16; only to discover that the adults in her life were right. She did need a high school diploma after all! In 1994 she began that journey and never looked back. But not first before recommitting her life to the Lord at what was our home church of Faith Apostolic Temple (Faith Alive!). She was later ordained as a Minister of the Gospel by Bishop Eddie Miller of Faith Apostolic Temple, South Bend, Indiana on May 2, 1999. She was active teaching Sunday School, ministering in service and wherever she went. She had a beautiful voice that could minister whenever she opened her mouth. She, as our mother was determined to live financially independent. So, later, she decided to go back to college. Once she set her mind to something it was like granite. Again, it was not easy. She just made it LOOK that way! Cathy graduated with honors with: a Bachelor’s in English in Liberal Arts from IUSB in May 2009 Years 2005-06 Remained on Dean’s List April 2007 selected as Psi Chi National May 2007 received Honor Society of Psychology Dept., in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences In May 2007, Cathy was accepted into the Master’s Program. She was a prolific writer and in May 2009, she received the 1st Place Award for Non-Fiction, from the Lester M. Wolfson Poetry Writing English Dept., for the essay, “Black Like Me — My Biracial Journey Through Black and White America.” A Master’s in English in Liberal Arts from Indiana University of South Bend was earned in May 2011 She then earned a second Master of Arts in Christian Counseling from the Southern Theological Institute of Biblical Studies on May 19, 2018; in Indianapolis, Indiana. Every Thursday she would get off of work in South Bend, drive the two and one-half hours to Indianapolis, stay for class 2-3 hours and drive back to South Bend to grade papers through the night for students and get up the next morning for work. But Cathy’s Adventures didn’t stop where I left off earlier. She got her traveling partner, our mother. They traveled to Canada, twice; New Orleans seemed to become a regular second vacation spot; Niagara Falls; at least two cruises; one being stranded on the ship because of a hurricane in Mexico, and more trips than our mother can remember. They were road warriors. Yes, they traveled together as the saying goes, “till the wheels fell off!” She took on the posture of a servant and was committed to helping others do better, to grow. She worked FT as a social worker for the Dept of Children’s Bureau for the state of Indiana, as well as alternating evenings teaching for IUSB as well as working for Volunteers of America to assist in the repayment of student loans. And in between these feats continued her education through various seminars with the state of Indiana and advanced not only in the academic world but also applied the knowledge she gained emotionally as well as financially. Her final employment led her to be a RAPT SPECIALIST where she went from carrying out the instructions of the caseworker to actually writing the curriculum for future caseworkers in the state of Indiana. Catherine Kelly leaves to celebrate her life and legacy, her mother, Constance Akins, Buchanan, MI; her father Oliver Kelley, South Bend, IN; one sister, Helen Akins, Indianapolis, IN; two brothers, Conrad (Doug) Kelley, South Bend, IN; and Russell Haines, Cassopolis, MI; three nieces and three nephews, Jessica, Erika, Sandra, Christopher, Nathaniel, Adrian and a host of aunts, cousins, coworkers and friends, and her constant travel companion, her road dog (literally), Hank.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Catherine Kelly, please visit Tribute Store
Kelly Funeral Service
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, May 14, 2022
Northway Church of God
19525 Auten Rd
South Bend, Indiana, United States
Proudly serving the community of Niles and surrounding areas.
521 E Main St
Niles, MI 49120
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