Beverly Ardeth Kelley (nee Silva), wife of former Santa Cruz County Clerk and Recorder, Tom Kelley, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 26, 2012, surrounded by family and friends.
Beverly was a lifetime resident of Pleasant Valley with many connections to the community. She was born September 4, 1930 to George and Elsie King Silva, both of pioneering Pajaro Valley and Aptos families. She grew up in Corralitos, attending Pleasant Valley Elementary School and graduating with the Watsonville High School Class of 1948. In her early years she was an active member of Rainbow Girls. She developed a gifted singing voice and was the soprano soloist for many weddings and special events. As a young woman she worked at Fordís Department store and attended Smithís Business School and Hartnell College.
Beverly met Thomas Michael Kelley, then the returning WWII veteran and City License Collector of Santa Cruz, at the Santa Cruz County Fair, where he was working on special events. He swept her off her feet and thus began a 43-year romance. They were married April 11, 1954. She supported Tom in his career as he rose to County Clerk and Recorder and as they raised their daughter, Karell Ardeth Kelley. She was very involved with Eastern Star where she made many dear and enduring friends, eventually working her way through the chairs and ascending to Worthy Matron. She was an early member of the Corralitos Womenís Club and served in many offices of that organization, including its President. She continued to participate in this organization through her later years.
The Kelleys were one of several founding families of the Holy Eucharist Catholic Church in Corralitos, growing the congregation from a tiny mission that met in the Corralitos Grange Hall to the well-established parish that exists today. Beverly encouraged her daughter in 4-H and was an outstanding 4-H Project Leader and 4-H Community Leader. Beverly was an avid Republican and member of the Republican Women. She and Tom took turns as Directors for the Santa Cruz County Fair, which was such a big part of their lives. She dedicated her life to the betterment of her community.
After Tomís retirement, they began to travel and enjoyed numerous trips to Hawaii, Mexico, the Orient and Europe. Her hobbies included reading, sewing, travel, politics and shopping.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Tom, and her brother,
Ed (George) Silva. She leaves her daughter, Karell Kelley Reader and son-in-law, Phillip Leroy Reader and devoted life-long friend, Mitch Bulich and his family.
The family would like to extend their thanks to the doctors and nurses in the Critical Care Unit of Watsonville Community Hospital for their kindness and compassion, particularly Laura, Rick, Gina, Trina and Kathy.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM Friday, January 4, 2013 at Holy Eucharist Catholic Church with interment to follow in the Old Mausoleum at Pajaro Valley Memorial Park. Arrangements are being handled by Ave Maria Mortuary in Watsonville, California.
Memorial contributions are encouraged in place of flowers. Beverlyís favorite charities include the Agricultural History Project at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds and the Pajaro Valley Historical Association.For the complete article see the 12-29-2012 issue.
Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 12-29-2012 paper.
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