Dorothy R. Kelleher

Salem - Dorothy Rose (Baker) Kelleher died peacefully on Tuesday October 9, 2023 at Kaplan Hospice in Danvers. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Philip Kelleher, a psychiatrist at McLean Hospital and co-founder of one of the first hospices in the U.S. She was the proud mother of three children, and loving grandmother to nine grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Born on July 23, 1932, she was raised in York, England, and the daughter of the Rose (Casburn) Baker and Alfred Baker. She worked as an administrator at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, and after immigrating to the U.S., raised her family in Newton until the passing of her husband. She thereafter was a manager of NASPE charity events and helped organize Newton's first Martin Luther King birthday celebration. She later relocated to Palm Beach, Florida with her partner, Robert Sheff, with whom she traveled extensively to China, India, Cuba, England and France. Deeply affected by her son’s experience with mental illness, she devoted herself to helping other families navigate various systems that inadequately supported the mentally ill and their families. In this role, she was president of the Palm Beach chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), and a pioneer in mental health courts and police trainings which educated specialized law enforcement teams on alternative responses to those in crisis, also known as Crisis Intervention Trainings (CIT).
She is survived by two daughters and one son, Victoria Kelleher and her partner Joe Phillips of Swampscott, Alexandra and Kevin Curry of Millis, and Hugo of Cambridge. She is also survived by nine grandchildren:Alexis, Christina, Devlan, Steven, Shawn, Brian, Brendan, Elizabeth and Geneva, as well as four great-grandchildren: Marius, Alice, Leo, and Rita. She is also survived by her partner, Robert Sheff of West Palm Beach. She is also predeceased by her identical twin sister Grace Worley of Gloucestershire, England, from whom she was separated at birth but rejoined later in life and shared an exceptionally close relationship.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday, October 12th at 10:00 a.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, St. Peter’s Street, Salem. Burial will follow at Newton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in her name to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. For guestbook and to send a condolence, please visit
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Levesque Funeral Home
163 Lafayette Street
Salem, MA USA 01970