Anyone wishing to view the Celebration of Life for Mrs. Kelly may do so by visiting the Facebook page of the Saint Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church, Scranton, PA which will host the livestream.
Violet R. Kelly, 99, died peacefully Wednesday, August 17, 2022. She was the widow of Scranton native John McLean Kelly, who died in 1986. She lived most of her life in the city’s Hill Section, but also spent many summers at her cottage on Lake Kewanee in Factoryville.
Vi, as she was known to friends, was described by one of them as a “live wire … always her own person—independent, attractive, curious.” She dressed beautifully, as much from a personal flair for fashion as respect for those with whom she interacted. All through her nineties, she was incredibly active. Only last year, she got a standing ovation for completing 18 holes of golf in the rain at a charity tournament.
Before the pandemic interfered, she played bridge twice weekly, doggedly did Zumba at the Dunmore YMCA, and took courses at The Schemel Forum at The University of Scranton. Music was a particular passion; she sang in the Singer’s Guild of Scranton/Choral Society of Northeast Pennsylvania and her choir at St. Matthew’s United Evangelical Lutheran Church in Scranton. She generously gave her time and support to numerous organizations, among them the Women’s Resource Center, the Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic, the Lucan Center for the Arts, and AAA North Penn. She was a shareholding member of Glen Oak Country Club in Clarks Summit, through her late uncle-in-law Bruce Lowenberg.
Born Violet Elva Rothermel on May 3, 1923, in Klingerstown, PA, to James Arthur and Mabel (née Fetterolf) Rothermel, she was a graduate of Upper Mahanoy Township High School and Williamsport Dickinson Seminary Junior College. Earlier in life, she held various clerical positions with the Naturalization Department of the U.S. Courts, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (forerunner of NASA,) and International Correspondence Schools of Scranton. In one of the defining moments of her life and marriage, in 1947, she traveled alone with a toddler to rejoin her husband, a B-17 pilot assigned to what was then Occupied Japan. They lived there for more than two years during which time he flew the Berlin Airlift and she gave birth to twins.
Surviving are three daughters, Marilyn Husted of Cazenovia, NY, Jane Yeomans (Bill) of Scranton, and Joan Bernard (Jim) of Manhattan, NY; six grandchildren who adored and admired their Nana Kelly, Sara D’Andrea (Scott), Alison Dyer (Alex), John Yeomans (Vonnie), Peter Yeomans (Emma), Bradley Husted (Megan), and Douglas Yeomans (Lee); three step-grandchildren, Jennifer Bernard, David Bernard, and Pamela Seley (Jeff); and a sister, Jean Miller of Venice, FL. She is also survived by 14 great-grandchildren, three step-great-grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and countless friends. Besides her husband of 40 years, she was predeceased by son-in-law Richard S. Husted, three brothers, Norman, Lawrence, and Willard Rothermel, and two sisters, Anna Gessner and Florence Latsha.
Her memory will be cherished by all who loved her. As she said when her own mother died at age 90, “The longer you have them, the more there is to miss.”
The family cannot say enough in praise of the hospice division of Traditional Home Health Care, Dunmore, and the caring staff at both Clarks Summit Senior Living and The Pines.
Calling hours are 4 to 7 pm, Friday, August 26, at Vanston and James Funeral Home, 1401 Ash Street, Scranton.
A service in celebration of her life will be held at 10:30 am, Saturday, August 27, at St. Matthew’s United Evangelical Lutheran Church, 425 Jefferson Avenue, Scranton.
Contributions in her name can be made to the Women’s Resource Center, the Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic, and Choral Society of Northeast Pennsylvania.