Sunday, November 5, 2023

Barbara June Crumly Kelly: 1934-2023

Posted By on Sun, Nov 5, 2023 at 7:15 AM

click to enlarge Barbara June Crumly Kelly, Sept. 22, 1934, to June 23, 2023.
  • Barbara June Crumly Kelly, Sept. 22, 1934, to June 23, 2023.

On Friday, June 23, 2023, Barbara June Crumly Kelly; wife, mother, friend and lifelong activist, passed quietly at her home in McKinleyville with loved ones near. Barbara was a life-long learner and defender of nature, and she departed the earth she worked so hard to protect for many of the 88 years she spent on it.

Born in Whittier, California, on Sept. 22, 1934, Barbara had three siblings, Betty, Burton and Curtis. Together with their parents, Elmer and June, she grew up and resided in LA County where she would go on to attend UCLA. There she met her future husband of 65 years, Dr. Paul Kelly. Barbara was a teacher and early childhood educator turned lifelong activist.

Barbara was well known in the larger community of Humboldt County for her activism fighting for and helping conserve nature, endangered species and the overall ecology of her neighborhood and its surrounding communities. She was an advocate for the snowy plover, the preservation of the Lanphere dunes, Samoa beach and other coastal areas in the county and she supported the efforts of their various political causes. She gave countless hours to the Wildflower and Native Plant Societies, trekking through the woods early in the spring to gather for the Wildflower show, and dedicating much of her life to the study of Mycology. As a lifelong supporter of Planned Parenthood, she defended the rights of young women to seek reproductive health care. Barbara was a supporter of the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, where she found like-minded people and lifelong friends. She worked diligently with the League of Women Voters and insisted that all of us vote — and educate ourselves about the issues no matter what political walk. Barbara loved to read and could be found on any given day with a stack of books at hand educating herself about all things natural and political from climate change to pollinators. She continuously educated herself on the history of Humboldt County, as well as eagerly consuming the memoirs of many of her favorite political figures.

Barbara is survived by her husband of nearly 65 years, Dr. Paul Sherwood Kelly, their three kids, Roger, Todd and Janae, and their children, along with her many nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her parents and siblings and their daughter, Patty, along with many dear friends from over the years — including those in her beloved walking group in McKinleyville.

There will be no services per Barbara's request, but we all agree that she would have appreciated a donation in her memory to the cause of your choice — made with passion and dedication to its purpose just as she spent her life. Barbara will be remembered as a person who worked hard to make the world a better place.

Special thanks to Kim, Carolyn, Jami, Hospice of Humboldt, Visiting Angels for helping Paul, Janae, Todd, and Roger care for Barbara in her final months.

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