Mary Kelly


Mary Foley Kelly, 77, died on March 30, 2018, Good Friday, reuniting with her husband, who passed on Good Friday 2017.

Known affectionately as Molly by her friends (Mamu to her grandchildren), Molly was born April 8, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York. She attended the Academy of the Sacred Heart High School, and Marymount College in Manhattan where she graduated with a degree in communications. Growing up, she spent her summers in Shelter Island, surrounded by friends and family, a time she remembered fondly and where she first met her future husband, Ray Kelly, around the age of 8.

Molly and Ray married on May 10, 1964, in New York City. They moved to Ponte Vedra in 1970, where they built their life and raised their three daughters. She was an avid tennis player and a renowned entertainer. Best known for their famous Christmas Eve parties, every year she and Ray opened their home to friends for a Christmas cocktail and buffet dinner. This tradition went on for 20-plus years, until she and Ray decided it was time for her to hang up her apron, tuck away her recipe for her famous cheese noodles and opt for a quiet drink at the Inn to celebrate the holiday. 

In the early ‘90s, Molly got her real estate license and joined Stockton Realty. She and Ray also bought a summer home in Linville, North Carolina, where Molly traded in her tennis racquet for golf clubs. Six months after swinging her first club, Molly got a hole-in-one, much to the chagrin and absolute frustration of Ray. She spent the last years of her life enjoying the warm winters of her hometown of Ponte Vedra Beach and the mild summers and fresh air of the mountains. She loved traveling, especially cruising with her husband and friends.

Molly is survived by her three daughters, Grace Gambel (Patrick), Jean Brown (Greg) and Elizabeth Kennedy; and her eight grandchildren, starting with the eldest, Patrick Ryan Gambel; Mary Ellen Gambel; Katherine Grace Gambel; Grace Elizabeth Brown; Teresa Ann Brown; William Raphael Brown; Kayla Grace Kennedy; and Shane Patrick Kennedy. She is also survived by her siblings, Samuel John Foley and Michael Francis Foley; brother- and sisters-in-law John Stephen Kelly, Geraldine Ann Kelly and Kathleen Eleanor Kelly; nephew Samuel John Foley (Diane) and niece Samantha Foley Davidson (Ty); and grandnephews Samuel and Connor Foley. She is preceded in death by her husband, Raphael Michael Kelly; her parents, Samuel and Grace Foley; and sister-in-law Kathleen Foley.

A Memorial Mass to celebrate Molly’s life will be held at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 545 A1A North, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 6, 2018. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Community Hospice & Palliative Care, 4266 Sunbeam Road, Jacksonville, FL 32257. Please visit the online tribute at Arrangements by Quinn-Shalz Family Funeral Home.