Pamela E. Kelley
Pamela E. "Lil' Phoenix" Kelley (Poltorak), also known as Auntie P, of Canton passed away after a ferocious battle with ovarian cancer. She died at home on January 11th in the presence of her daughter, just a few weeks shy of her 75th birthday. Pam was the cherished wife of the late Robert J. Kelley of Canton. Mother, friend, and inspiration to Robin Kelley of Dorchester. Nana to Bella Ricarra, the cat. Daughter of the late E. Wanda Oulette and granddaughter of the late Stephen Suchecki and Katherine Wespianska Suchecki, both originally from Poland. Pam was very proud of her Polish heritage, despite often posing as Irish. Sister of Sandra Benedetti of Boca Raton, FL. Beloved Aunt and second mother to many. Survived by several nieces, nephews, and friends.
Pam was born and raised in Mattapan, and spent summers with her family in Mattapoisett. Pam graduated from Roslindale High School ('63) and went on to earn her BA ('67) and MA ('74) in Education from Boston State. She was a graduate of Boston Public Schools and went on to become an elementary and middle school teacher in BPS for 34 years before retiring in 2004. Pam was an extraordinary teacher and mentor throughout her career, where she also developed many lifelong friendships. She has lived in Canton for the last 45 years where she was a parishioner at St. Gerards and a volunteer at the New England Sinai Hospital in Stoughton.
Pam was a fighter, always up for an adventure, and a fiercely independent trailblazer who lived life to the fullest. She was a huge fan of the Boston Red Sox and of Oldies 103.3 era rock and roll. Before settling down, Pam was an avid skier and tennis player. Her hobbies included compulsively cleaning, reading, movies, crossword puzzles, destroying her daughter in Scrabble, spending time with family and friends, wining and dining with the Living Large Ladies, chatting up a barful of strangers at our favorite restaurants, couponing and comparative shopping, presiding over Pam's Kitchen, and traveling (except for the time that we got stuck in Ghana.) Pam constantly sought out ways to provide for and to create opportunities for Daughter's 1, 2, 3, etc. and for her nieces. Post retirement, Pam took up swimming, yoga, and golf. She was comically adverse to receiving telephone calls and plants, and to jazz cruises. Pam will be remembered for her non-stop energy, her loyal friendship, her limitless generosity, and her forgiving spirit.
Visiting hours at the Dockray & Thomas Funeral Home 455 Washington St. Canton on Friday, January 22 from 4:00-7:00 PM. Due to the current Covid 19 Guidelines, only 10 guests will be permitted within the funeral home at a time, masks are required and guests should bring their own pens to sign the register book. Funeral Mass at St. Gerard Majella Church, Canton on Saturday, January 23 at 10:00 AM. The Mass will be live-streamed via Facebook and is linked below. Burial private. Celebration of life to follow this spring, tentatively scheduled on the 40th anniversary of her wedding.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Dr. Whitfield Growden Development Office 125 Nashua St., Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114. Pam would like to thank the Oncology Dept. at Mass General Hospital particularly Andrea Thurler, Dr. Growdon, Dr. Dizon, Dr. Penson, and Katie for buying her 5 years in which she was able to do more than most people get to do in a lifetime. She also would like to thank her support systems through her life, especially special friends Ann Connolly and Maryann Norton.