Kelly Anne Kennedy 49, of Oak Ridge NJ passed away peacefully on Monday, April 27, 2020 at Lakeland Health Care Center, Haskell, N.J. of complications of COVID-19.
Kelly Anne was born on June 15, 1970 to the late Anne Claire (nee Watkins) and Robert J. Kennedy in Teaneck, N.J. She attended Milton Elementary School and Parsippany Troy Hills High School, and was a graduate of West Morris Regional High School, Morris Plains, N.J. She delighted in her first job as a Junior Counselor at the Summer Camp for Children with Special Needs offered by College Misericordia (now Misericordia University) at Mercy Center, Dallas, PA in 1988.
Following graduation, Kelly applied for Independent living at Alternatives, Inc. in Phillipsburg, N. J. In a letter to family and friends Kelly said, "I always wanted to have my own apartment and it has come true for me. I wanted Mom and Dad to know that their little girl is a young woman now. This is for you!"
Shortly after moving to Phillipsburg, Kelly began work at Abilities of Warren County where she thrived for over twenty years. Kelly began a new work opportunity with the ARC of New Jersey at SERENDITITY, the ARC gift store in downtown Washington, N.J. Kelly especially enjoyed interacting with the community and co-workers in a service role that made full use of her abilities, joy and warm personality.
Kelly also volunteered with the Warren County Special Services School District working with the high school special disabilities class to enhance the class program and increase individual attention to the students. For this service she was recognized by the ARC Board with their Award of Excellence. In 2018, Kelly Anne relocated to Oak Ridge, NJ to a group home sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Paterson, NJ.
Kelly Anne was an active participant in Special Olympics of New Jersey from a young age. Her favorite events were track and field, basketball, swimming and bowling. The events were a special time for her and, with family and friends to cheer her on, the medals kept coming. Kelly loved music, poetry (reading and writing), shopping and travel, especially cruising. An avid fan of WWE, Kelly enjoyed watching and attending events whenever possible. Kelly's greatest joy came from time with family and friends. She traveled frequently to Oak Ridge, NJ and Dallas, PA for family and holiday gatherings. She was a regular on Martz buses where she was known by name and greeted friends in the Stroudsburg and Wilkes Barre stations.
Kelly Anne is survived by her loving brothers Robert and his wife Lisa, Oak Ridge, NJ, Stuart and his wife Deborah, Fort Lauderdale, FL Michael, Somerville, NJ and William and his wife Christine, Las Vegas NV. Also surviving are her loving aunts Jane F Kennedy, RSM and Therese Kennedy, uncles James Watkins and his wife Shirley, and Bonaventure Russomano, aunt Mary Claire Watkins, nieces Taylor and Melissa, nephews Shane, Sean, Kyle and Robert, great nephew Hudson and several cousins.
Burial will be private in Oak Ridge, NJ. A celebration of Kelly Anne's life will be held at a future date at Mercy Center, Dallas, PA.
Kelly and her family have been deeply grateful for the caring support and service of three organizations of persons who significantly contributed to the quality of her life and independence over the past thirty years. Memorial donations in her name would be welcomed by Alternatives, Inc., 600 First Avenue, Raritan, NJ 08869, The ARC 319 W Washington St. Washington NJ 07882 and, the Department for Persons with Disabilities, Diocese of Paterson, 1 Catholic Charities Way, Oak Ridge, NJ 07438.
Arrangements are in the care of Stickle-Soltesz Funeral Home, 187 LaRue Rd. Newfoundland, NJ. Local arrangements are under the direction of The Richard H. Disque Funeral Home, 2940 Memorial Highway, Dallas, Pa. 18612.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kelly Anne Kennedy, please visit our floral store.