Sylvia Kelley Obituary, Death – After a prolonged and courageous fight against advancing dementia that lasted several years, our beloved friend and fellow churchgoer Sylvia Olney Kelley died away on December 13, 2022. Ruth Evelyn and Willard Winston Olney welcomed their daughter Sylvia into the world on August 22, 1937 in Newport News, Virginia. After completing her high school studies at Warwick High School in Newport News.
Sylvia went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Westhampton College at the University of Richmond and a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Both of these degrees are in the field of education. Before transitioning into administration and becoming an assistant principal and assistant superintendent for the Newport News school district, Sylvia worked as a teacher at Warwick Junior and Ferguson High Schools, where she was responsible for teaching Social Studies, Government, and World Geography.
After marrying Frank G. Kelley and relocating to Vermont, Sylvia became the first woman to hold the position of Assistant Superintendent in the Burlington Vermont school district. During her tenure there, the district received numerous awards. When Sylvia and Frank bought the Newcastle Inn on the coast of Maine and, later, the Lawnmere Inn in Boothbay, Maine, she had to resign from her previous job. In addition, they owned and maintained a KOA campsite in the vicinity of the little town of Damariscotta, which is located in Maine.
Sylvia had a passion for exploring new places, and she counted the small village of Pittenweem, Scotland, as one of her homes along with Booth Bay, in Maine; Key West, Florida; and Scotland. Sylvia was a very involved member of the Metropolitan Community Church in Key West. She worked closely as a cook with the organization Cooking With Love and served on the board of directors. The wise counsel, enthusiasm for exploration, culinary prowess, awareness of diverse cultures, and fervent advocacy for inclusiveness, equality, and equity that Sylvia offered will live on in our memories forever.