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Ellen L. Kelley

November 17, 1952 — May 19, 2020

Ellen L. Kelley

Ellen Kelley, nee Porter, 67, of Oklahoma City, OK passed away peacefully on May 19, 2020 in Tulsa, OK after succumbing to the effects of early onset Alzheimer's disease. Her devoted husband of 45 years, Jerry, remained forever by her side through a lengthy illness and at the end was joined by all five of their loving children.Ellen was born November 17, 1952 to Grace and John Porter in Oklahoma City, with deep family roots in Oklahoma extending well before statehood. After moving with her family to Wichita, Kansas as a young girl, Ellen and the Porters returned to Oklahoma where she attended 8th grade at Christ the King before graduating to Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School in Oklahoma City. Establishing a pattern that would continue over the years, she quickly developed lifelong friendships in her new surroundings. If it wasn't her beaming smile or infectious laugh, her warmth and openness drew people to her, and her into the world. She had an adventurous spirit and loved to travel which she began early by leaping at the chance of a lifetime at age 17, to join her older sister Kathy on a European summer tour that would take them all over the continent and as far as Moscow, behind the Iron Curtain.By her senior year in high school, Ellen had gravitated to the wit and humor of her future husband, Jerry, with whom she would laugh for the next fifty years. Marriage in 1974 followed fast on the heels of graduation from the University of Oklahoma. Ellen, imbued with a nurturer's patience and love of children, followed in the footsteps of her mother and older sister by entering teaching, serving in classrooms at several local primary schools. Eventually turning to family full-time in 1978, Ellen embarked on her most meaningful journey, becoming a mother to daughters Meredith, Erin, Maggie, Blair and her son Brian. Brimming with energy and spirit, she devoted her life to family and friends, though somehow found the time to earn a master's degree in reading from the University of Central Oklahoma. With a full house and her youngest out of infancy, Ellen resumed her career teaching kindergarten at Christ the King for a further thirteen years. The nucleus of her family, "Mimmy" created a tightly woven clan and surrounded them with love.Ellen was an active and devoted member of Christ the King parish. Her full life always found time for music, and she could be found dancing "the pony" at weddings, parties including Winter Heat, and in the kitchen making dinner. She attended countless concerts with Jerry throughout the state and beyond, as recently as a couple of months before her death. She so bravely and graciously fought her disease, never losing her positivity or smile, that she and Jerry managed to enjoy travel and cherished pastimes until the end. Theirs was a partnership rooted in family and friendship, with no shortage of laughter and love.Ellen was preceded in death by her father, John Porter, and niece, Ellen Kathleen Porter. She is survived by her husband Jerry, mother Grace Porter, daughters Meredith Lesher (Justin), Erin Yancy (Rodney), Maggie Kelley Post (Aaron), Blair Kelley (Fiancé Nick Abrahamson), and son Brian together with grandsons Thomas and Will Yancy and granddaughters Jane and Bee Lesher, sister Kathy Shannon, and brothers Jack Porter and Patrick Porter (Holly) and numerous nieces and nephews.A family only service will be held at Christ the King on May 27th at 2 pm which can be viewed by way of livestream on the Christ the King website, ckokc.org. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer's Association would be appreciated.
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