Clare County Review & Marion Press

Postcard from the Pines: Sweet Tears

Ashley 2001

The Gardener and I happily gathered with much of our family in the past month. It has been both joyous and retrospective. We shed tears of all kinds.
On December 10, our number two granddaughter, now 25, married her middle school sweetheart in a lovely winter ceremony at the magical Pine Nob Mansion. As her grandparents, we enjoyed a front row seat to the long planned nuptials. We shed joyous tears in the warmth of our family.
As grandma, I got to enjoy some of the phases of her wedding preparations. The first event and the one that made the fact that our lovely dark-haired granddaughter, so much like her dad, was indeed grown and being married, was the dress reveal, in May. I sat with her mom, the groom’s mom, assorted bride’s maids and another grandma as Ashley patiently modeled dresses we had chosen. I saw that little girl who loved leopard prints, purple, anything princess and to play dress-ups. And then I saw the lovely woman she has become when she appeared in the dress she chose. She was radiant, sure and lovely. I shed happy tears.
Then, bridal shower and other events behind us, and seemingly before we could turn around, the wedding was upon us. Our families gathered for the rehearsal and several dinners. We gathered at the hotel and, like the residents of a small village, all were there to celebrate the union. Saturday afternoon, we gathered at the venue and very happily witnessed the marriage of Ashley Traynor and her person, Gavin Williams. We shed copious, joyous tears.
The newly-wed Ashley Williams has planned her wedding since grade school, and the long learning process certainly paid off. She and sister Lyndsey, who was a most excellent maid of honor, didn’t watch all those episodes of Say Yes to the Dress for nothing! It was a grand affair. We wish the William’s many, many happy years. Our photo this week is of a pink princess Ashley in 2001.
On Christmas we received the unexpected word that the Gardener’s last aunt had passed; the end of her generation. We shed sorry and understanding tears. Our Oakie Traynor passed very close to Christmas. We grieve with our cousins in their loss.
Jenny Caslemon Kelly, 98, of Flint, Michigan, was born in Blytheville, Arkansas on August 23, 1924, a tiny two and a half pound baby. When she was a child during the Great Depression, the family moved and eventually found itself in Flint, Michigan, where her father had employment at General Motors, as many did. It was here that she met her sweetheart and husband, Michael Kelly, the son of a Canadian family who also came to Flint for a better job and life.
Jenny and Mike were engaged before he was called to serve in WWII, which he did for four years. During that time, Jenny and her one and only, exchanged many letters, Mike writing whenever he could. So dear were his words to her that she kept each and every letter, carefully bundled away, for her entire life. They were married in 1945 when he returned and were wed for more than 50 years, until his death in 1996. They lived in Flint where they raised their four children, and spent many years at their home in Lake George.
Jenny loved her family, travel, music, crafts, all people and making them all happy. She was truly an upbeat soul who always had a welcoming smile on her face. She was a very popular library Story Hour lady and on the other end of the spectrum was also very involved with the Lake George Senior Center. She loved to dance. For several years she wrote the Lake George Senior News for the Clare County Cleaver. Her newsy stories about the goings on at the center and the travels of she and sister-in-law, our aunt, Camilla Kelly Overymyer, were humorously entertaining and very popular.
In later years Camilla and Jenny, known as the Ladies or the Aunts to our family, traveled and spent their winters in Florida until health intervened. Aunt Camilla, Mike Kelly’s last sibling, passed at 93 at the beginning of Covid and sadly, we were not able to bid her farewell.
Jenny leaves her daughters, Carol Kelly. Michaele (Al) Hobson and Martha (Barry) Putnam; grandchildren, David, Karin, Jeff, Melissa, Michelle, Shawna, Brenna, Patrick; 10 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded by her brothers, her husband, Michael C. Kelly and her son Michael Kelly.
Jenny Kelly was laid to rest next to her beloved husband at the National Cemetery, Holly, Michigan. She was indeed a bright spot in this world.

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