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Mary Ann "Minnie" Campbell Kelly
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Birth: Apr. 1, 1881
Little Harbour
Kings County
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Death: Feb. 13, 1973
San Jose
Santa Clara County
California, USA

Mary Ann (a.k.a. "Minnie" as she was always known) was one of 12 children in the John Andrew Campbell, Sr. family. They raised their family on a potato farm that overlooked the ocean at Little Harbour, Kings, Prince Edward Island. She immigrated to the United States in 1905 and landed in Massachusetts where her half-brother, John Andrew Campbell, Jr. lived with his family. A few years later, while working as the dining room hostess in the railroad depot in Houston, Texas, she met my grandfather, Leonard Lionel Kelly. They had just one little daughter, Dorothy May. The family moved to Nebraska & were in North Platte for about a year then moved to Omaha where Dorothy May was born. Leonard died from an epileptic seizure in 1921. She escorted her husband's body on the train to Houston, Texas where she had him laid to rest. By that time, her brother, John Andrew & his family had moved to California so she moved there to find work. In 1921, there was no such thing as welfare benefits nor any other assistance so she sought a position as the cook and head housekeeper in the "visiting parish rectory", the largest in the, then, San Francisco Archdiocese, St. Anthony's Parish, 1535-16th Avenue, Oakland, California. The kind pastor allowed her to have the job and raise her little 3 year old Dorothy in the rectory in her housekeeper's private quarters (a bedroom, shared sitting room and shared bathroom). The stipulation was that little Dorothy must be taught & managed so that she always "knew her place". St. Anthony's Rectory is able to house up to 15 clergy members. She worked very hard & was highly organized in carrying out her duties. In the beginning, she had to cook all the meals on a wood burning stove and wash all the table linens by hand using only a scrub board in the service room sink. She ordered all the food from the produce market (located on the Oakland waterfront area) & she had to take the street car (city rail service) to get there every morning after finishing the breakfasts for all the priests. The fish truck would arrive at the kitchen entrance every Thursday morning & she would go out to order enough fresh fish for the house. The priests would come & go at different times throughout the day for their meals after saying Masses so she always had to be available to serve their "banquet style" meals. She still had time to make hooked rugs, spin her own knitting wool and knit caps, dresses, coats and other things for her little daughter and, in later years, for her little granddaughter, Beverly Claire. It wasn't until the early 40s that her daughter, Dorothy, convinced the pastor of the parish that it was much too hard on her mother to be cooking on that wood stove and doing the laundry by hand. Finally, he bought a wringer washing machine and a gas stove for the rectory. She continued in the position for 30 years and retired in 1951. She went into "semi-retirement" as the cook/housekeeper for a smaller parish, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Saratoga, California. After about 3 years, it was decided that the position was too demanding on her health due to physical disabilities so, she finally "retired". It didn't deter her from keeping busy though. She continued to occupy her time by knitting afghan blankets, knit caps & scarfs, etc. to help those in need. We can almost hear her sharing stories and tales while singing about and enjoying the ceilidhs in the boughs of Heaven with her family which includes all those ancestors who arrived before her. She was a "second mother" to many the young, newly ordained priest coming to St. Anthony's for their first assigned parish. She also served many Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals who happened to be visiting the San Francisco Archdiocese. We are sure that her spirit still trails in the kitchen and the parlor of that parish rectory as it stands today. 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Leonard Lionel Kelly (1885 - 1921)
 
Inscription:
"In God's Care"
 
Burial:
Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
Hayward
Alameda County
California, USA
Plot: J-17-91
 
Created by: Beverly Claire Medlenka ...
Record added: Mar 08, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13569033
Mary Ann Minnie <i>Campbell</i> Kelly
Added by: Beverly Claire Medlenka FitzGerald
 
Mary Ann Minnie <i>Campbell</i> Kelly
Added by: Irene Dowling
 
Mary Ann Minnie <i>Campbell</i> Kelly
Added by: Beverly Claire Medlenka FitzGerald
 
 
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- Linda Crawford
 Added: Mar. 8, 2006
We will meet again when God believes my work on earth is finished. I'm truly grateful for the role model that you were for me throughout your wonderful, hard-working, life.
- Beverly Claire Medlenka FitzGerald
 Added: Mar. 8, 2006
 
 
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