Caroline Best Kelley

July 29, 1919 - May 13, 2014

Caroline Best Kelley passed away in Carson City on May 13, 2014, at the age of 94. Caroline was a loving daughter, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, sister, and friend. She was affectionately called “Tutu”, grandmother in Hawaiian, a nickname she received from her first grandchild. Caroline greeted life with optimism and lived by these words from her favorite Bible verse: This is the day the Lord has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it! She was the fourth child born to Elbert C. and Laeta Elden Best in in 1919. Her father accepted a position as Superintendent of Elementary Schools in Fallon in the early 1920’s where the family established roots in Nevada. Despite losing her mother at an early age, she accumulated many happy childhood memories that lasted a lifetime. Caroline graduated from the University of Nevada in 1941 and taught high school, first in Yerington and then in Las Vegas. In the summer of 1944, she boarded a train to Crew, Virginia, where she married college beau and love of her life, Pete Kelley, before he was shipped overseas during WWII. When the war ended, Pete and Caroline moved to Carson City, a place they proudly called home during most of their 61 years of marriage. Caroline lived an active life raising three children, teaching kindergarten, and making a difference in the community through the Girl Scouts, Carson Ski Program, 4-H Sewing, Desert Garden Club, First Presbyterian Church, and her beloved P.E.O. She will be remembered for a smile that could warm anyone’s heart: a reluctant student, a new friend, an old friend, and each caregiver at the end of her days. Caroline is predeceased by her parents, her husband, and her three siblings, Elden Best, Robert Best, and Laeta Elizabeth Sawyer. The way she lived her life inspires her survivors, Jerry and Penny Kelley, Susan and Randy Stewart, Nancy and John Valiquette, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in Nevada, Oregon, California, Washington and Idaho, numerous nieces, nephews, and countless friends. Her family would like to thank Sierra Place, Amy’s Eden Senior Care, and Circle of Life Hospice for their thoughtfulness and care in her final years. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the PEO Scholarship for Women, WNC, c/o Jonna Stone, 805 Ivy St., Carson City 89703 or to the First Presbyterian Church, 115 N. Division St., Carson City, Nevada, 89703. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on June 14, 2014, at the First Presbyterian Church in Carson City.


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