Linda Carol Kelly, age 59, of Wilmington, passed away on Tuesday, February 9, 2016.
She is survived by her husband, Steve Kelly; her daughter, Tara Kelly; her son, Steve, and his wife, Maud, and their children, Maeve and Finnian; and her sons, Greg and Brian. She is also survived by her mother, Phyllis Rothrock; her sister, Nancy Cochran, and her husband, James (Bo), and their children, Benjamin and Sydney; and her brother, Steven Rothrock, his wife, Dru, and their children, Ryan and Ashleigh. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Mary Kelly; and her cousins, Sue Billing and Fay Cepeda.
Linda was preceded in death by her father, John A. Rothrock.
Linda was born in Marietta, Ohio, on November 12, 1956, and grew up in Williamstown, West Virginia. After earning her degree from West Virginia University in 1982, Linda spent over 30 years working as a hospital and retail pharmacist. Throughout her career, she dedicated herself to serving the public, going above and beyond in her compassionate care of her coworkers and customers.
Linda was at her best when she was making people feel comfortable and welcome. She threw her home open to everyone—Halloween and Fourth of July and Christmas parties for her large circle of friends and neighbors, PTA board meetings around the kitchen table, neighborhood kick-ball games in the front yard where Tara’s friends competed against their parents for glory, political phone banks where a dozen or more volunteers came together in the living room and kitchen and ate soup and sandwiches and made calls. And, of course, many times throughout the year she and Steve played host to family from all over. Always, there was food. Always, there was laughter. Always, there was love.
Linda was an avid reader. She devoured books—two or three in a week. She supported the New Hanover Public Library with money and used books. She loved a good story and couldn’t stop reading until she knew how it ended. But she was no introvert. She loved to play cards and board games, and she was always ready for a get-together—any excuse to laugh and share the pure joy of being alive with other folks.
Linda loved the West Virginia Mountaineers. She never missed one of their football games when they were on television. She knew more about football than most men and would not suffer a bad call gladly, particularly if it went against the Panthers or Mountaineers.
On her days off, she liked to sleep in and spend her mornings enjoying big breakfasts cooked with her family, reading, listening to music, and playing Scrabble with Steve. She was a night owl, staying up till the early hours (often times with Tara by her side) tidying the house, working on one of her many projects, or relaxing with a book in her easy chair.
She loved Dan Fogelberg, the Dixie Chicks, George Jones, Jackson Browne, Adele, Martina McBride, James Taylor and John Prine. She gracefully tolerated Steve’s Mozart and Mendelssohn. She and Steve danced to Endless Love by the Righteous Brothers when they took the floor at their wedding. And don’t get us started about her dancing; she was poetry in motion and could fairly rip a carpet.
There will be an open memorial gathering to celebrate Linda’s life on Saturday, February 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Inland Greens Clubhouse. All are welcome to come anytime throughout this window to share their memories and be with those who love Linda.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in her memory to one of the following organizations: Arid Serenity a Wilmington-based nonprofit focused on rehabilitating alcoholics, drug abusers, etc.; World Literacy Foundation; or the Children’s Literacy Foundation.
Share memories and condolences with the family at Wilmington Funeral & Cremation.