Sylvia Kelley Obituary, Death – Sylvia Olney Kelley, a beloved friend and church member, died on December 13, 2022, following a multi-year battle with advancing dementia. Sylvia Olney was born in Newport News, Virginia on August 22, 1937 to Ruth Evelyn and Willard Winston Olney. Sylvia got a B.A. in Education from Westhampton College at the University of Richmond after graduating from Warwick High School in Newport News, and a master’s degree in Education from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Sylvia taught Social Studies, Government, and World Geography at Warwick Junior and Ferguson High Schools before transitioning to administration as an associate principal and assistant superintendent with the Newport News school district. Sylvia became the first female Assistant Superintendent of the Burlington Vermont school district after marrying Frank G. Kelley and moving there. Sylvia quit her employment when she and Frank bought the Newcastle Inn on the Maine coast, followed by the Lawnmere Inn in Boothbay, Maine. They also owned and operated a KOA campsite near Damariscotta, Maine.
Sylvia enjoyed to travel and was lucky to have lived in Booth Bay, Maine, Key West, Florida, and the small village of Pittenweem, Scotland. Sylvia was an active member of Metropolitan Community Church Key West, where she served on the Board of Directors and worked as a chef with Cooking With Love. Sylvia will be remembered for her wise counsel, love of travel, culinary talent, cultural awareness, and commitment to inclusivity, equality, and equity. Sylvia was preceded in death by her husband Frank, brothers John and Buddy, and parents Ruth and Willard. Her sister Amelia Hellman, nieces Susan Olney, Stacey Olney-Whitesell, Sarah Hutchinson, and Hannah Hellman, nephews John Olney Jr.
And Will Olney, and great nieces and nephews Andrew Blatnik, Luke Olney, Emma Clare Mertz, Katherine Mertz, Madeline Olney, and Hazel Hutchinson survive her. This photo was taken on October 6, 2015 in Hawaii at one of my favorite breakfast spots – Mr. Kelley especially like this restaurant since it served all you can eat pancakes (those who knew him know exactly what I’m talking about!!) as they prepared for one of their many cruises. Our hearts and prayers go out to their family and friends.