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OBITUARY: Barbara (Mooney) Kelly

May 6, 2022
By Staff Report

Barbara Joan (Mooney) Kelly of Wellesley, previously of Wayland, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family on April 30, 2022, after a brief illness. 

The daughter of Edward Grover Mooney and Flora Banning Mooney of West Hartford, Conn., she attended the Kingswood-Oxford School, Centenary Junior College and the Yale School of Drama, where she trained as an actress. Affectionately known as “Rusty” in her younger years, Barbara is remembered as a beloved mother, grandmother and mother-in-law, as well as a loyal friend to those who had the privilege of knowing her and experiencing her warmth, sense of humor, adventuresomeness and kindness. Following her time at Yale, Barbara performed at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine and the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. 

While living in Manhattan, friends introduced her to her late husband, John P. Kelly, Jr. “Jack,” with whom Barbara began married life in 1957 in South Orange, New Jersey. Shortly thereafter the couple moved to Wellesley, where they established a home and raised four daughters. Barbara and Jack shared a marriage full of love and adventure, centered around their cherished family and friendships, as well as their favorite activities of skiing and golf. 

They enjoyed traveling the world, visiting dear friends met through the worldwide transportation business established by Jack. 

Following Jack’s untimely passing in 1985, Barbara headed the family business for several years, and upon her retirement she spent decades exploring the world: Europe, Australia, Africa and the Caribbean, in the company of her family and close friends. There was a very special spot in her heart for those places where she gathered regularly over many decades with the people she loved most – Waterville Valley, Pemaquid Point and Boca Grande. Barbara was predeceased by her brother Robert K. Mooney and sister Genevieve Jennings.

She is survived by her sister Patricia M. Sutton of Kingston, Mass. and her four daughters, Jeanine Kelly-Coburn (Dirk Coburn) of Natick, Mass.; Barbara Kelly (Joel Bernstein) of Lexington, ass.; Lauren Smith (Michael) of Great Barrington, Mass; and Alicia Verity (Robert) of Natick. She is also survived by her beloved 13 grandchildren, Gwendolyn, Fred, and Liam Coburn; John (Katherine), Daniel and Sarah Bernstein; Brendan, Claire, Peter, and Katie Smith; and Jack, Madeleine and Charlotte Verity. 

Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, a contribution in Barbara’s memory may be made to the charity of one’s choice. For online guestbook, George F. Doherty & Sons Wellesley (781) 235-4100.