Another bright star was born the day Carol Kelly rose up with Colorado sunshine on her shoulder and love in her heart. She had lived in Glenwood Springs alongside the Roaring Fork River since 2012; and she passed close by at Renew Roaring Fork midst the comfort of closest family.
An innovative social worker for 43 years, Carol grew up in a wonderful extended family in Southbridge, Massachusetts. There, she developed traits those who knew her loved, including her devotion to family, a scrappy, can-do attitude, a love for the Boston Red Sox, and a strong desire to help others. She graduated from St. Mary’s School when 16 and with a degree in sociology from Ana Maria College at 20.
Carol's early career in community organization and casework for programs such as Headstart preceded completion of her MSW at the University of Connecticut in 1966. In 1967 she moved to Redwood City, California, where she met the love of her life, Nick Kelly. Carol worked for several counties in the Bay Area, and then moved with Nick to the Washington DC area, where they were married in 1969. Their children were both born at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
Carol worked for social services and mental health agencies in Virginia and Maryland until 1976 when she and Nick moved their young family to Boulder, Colorado. She began working there right away as a contract social worker conducting custody investigations and helping children find foster and adoptive homes. She worked tirelessly to keep families connected whenever possible, including helping to create parenting skills courses for incarcerated parents. She subsequently developed a statewide child-centered approach for placement, helping improve countless lives. Her accolades include her Champion for Children award from the Colorado Judicial Bench, bestowed on a “great person who has made the world a better place”.
She loved living in the great majesty of the Roaring Fork Valley close to two of her grandchildren during her last 7 years. When not in Utah seeing her grandchildren Avery and Dewey, she could often be seen by Ella and Pearse’s sides for a play at Aspen Country Day School, or a horse show at Strang Ranch, or the AVSC clubhouse.
Carol and Nick would have celebrated their 50th anniversary this September. She was always beautiful, thoughtful, and sage, and sometimes pretty funny, so Nick will long happily wonder whether she was kidding when her last word to him was “Handsome”, followed by a giggle. 😊 She was known to brag unapologetically about her children, Silbi and Brian as well as her grandchildren, Ella, Avery, Pearse, and Dewey.
Carol was preceded in death by her loving parents, Mike and Rita (Hurley) Moriarty, dearest eldest sister Mary Duff, darling brother Michael, and beautiful niece Karen Moriarty Barlow. She is mourned by her husband Nick of Glenwood Springs, daughter Silbi Kelly Stainton of Aspen and Washington D.C., son Brian Kelly and his wife Libby (Ramsey) of Salt Lake City, grandchildren Ella and Pearse Stainton and Avery and Dewey Kelly, as well as many, many others who loved her so. We will celebrate her life later this year with services in the Roaring Fork Valley, Boulder, Colorado, and Massachusetts – all places her spirit will forever be felt. In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation to the charity of your choice, especially if it benefits children.