Obituary: Krista Kelly, Swain Teacher
Krista Siri Mary Kelly, 41, a Swain School teacher and member of St. Thomas More Church in Salisbury, died June 5.
Krista Siri Mary Kelly, 41, of Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, died on Tuesday, June 5, 2012 following an inspirational battle with cancer. Krista was born on January 4, 1971 in Aberdeen, Maryland. She was the devoted wife of Brendan, and loving mother of two extraordinary daughters, Gabrielle Faith (12) and Emma Grace (10).
Krista is the daughter of Rev. James O’Connor and the late Karen O’Connor; sister of Katharine Geren; and Godmother and Aunt of Jacob Francis Geren. Krista is also survived by brothers-in-law Sean Kelly, Joseph Kelly, Brian Geren, Matthew Wood, and David Harlan; sisters-in-law Dawn Kelly, Kelly Wilson-Kelly, Kristina Harlan and Shannon Wood; nieces Alyssa Kelly, Kelly Rose Harlan, Megan Kelly, Kelsey Wilson-Ackerman, Kimberly Harlan, Skylar Wood, and Kiera Wood; nephews David Harlan, Ryan Kelly, Matthew Harlan, John Patrick Kelly, Xavier Wood, Brendan Kelly; and Max.
Her father a Navy Chaplain, Krista traveled throughout the world during her childhood years, developing a special appreciation of diverse cultures, languages, and history that would shape her life, gifts she would later impart on her children, students, family and friends.
Krista spent her teenage years in Norfolk, Virginia, where she and her family were members of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, and where her father served as Pastor. Krista was an accomplished student at Norfolk Catholic High School, where she also played soccer and tennis, and qualified for the Mensa International Society.
Krista attended Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1992 with bachelor degrees in English and Business. She played soccer, was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority and was an officer on the Panhellenic Council. It was at Muhlenberg where Brendan and Krista met. They were married for nearly fourteen years.
Following college, Krista enjoyed a successful professional career at Versyss and Siemens Medical Solutions before transitioning into her cherished role as a full-time mother. As Gabrielle and Emma headed off to grammar school, Krista soon followed them, serving as a beloved teacher at The Swain School, where she most recently taught middle school history, and served as faculty advisor to the Student Senate. Krista also served as president of the Swain Association and was a member of the Brookside tennis team and the United States Tennis Association. She was a member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church under the inspired leadership of Rev. Msgr. John P. Murphy.
Throughout her unforeseen two-year journey in which she battled a rare, cancer-causing genetic rearrangement, Krista inspired everyone she met with her indomitable spirit, unwavering courage, and steadfast faith. Krista was a devout Christian who drew strength from her beloved Blessed Virgin Mary, bringing others closer to God through her words and deeds. Krista’s loved ones are comforted in knowing that Krista is home with our Lord; that her spirit will remain with us always; and that we will be reunited together for eternity.
The Krista Kelly Memorial Scholarship has been established in her honor. An award will be presented annually to a Swain School student who shares Krista’s passion for history and displays outstanding citizenship. Contributions can be made to the Krista Kelly Memorial Scholarship, PO Box 873, Fogelsville, PA 18051.
Special appreciation is extended to the wonderful Swain School family for your inspiring love and support; and to the countless nurses, doctors, and staff at Lehigh Valley Hospital, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Fox Chase Cancer Center, St. Luke’s Hospital, The University of Pennsylvania Perelman Center, Bethlehem ENT, and Brother Bernard Seif for your generous care and dedication.
A funeral mass was held for Krista on June 12 at the Egner Chapel on the campus of Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew Street, Allentown PA. Arrangements by Stephens Funeral Home Inc., Allentown.