Oct. 7, 1920 - May 14, 2012
Eula "Lucille" Kelly, 91, passed away Monday, May 14, 2012, at the Country View Senior Care Home in College Place. At her request, there will only be a graveside burial, which will take place Friday, May 18, at 2 p.m. at Mountain View Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, Lucille requested memorial contributions be made to Walla Walla Community Hospice or Walla Walla Community College Nursing Program through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder St., Walla Walla. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.
Lucille was born Oct. 7, 1920, in Union, Ore., to Brent and Eula Sturgill. After graduating from Walla Walla High School, Lucille entered the St. Mary Hospital school of nursing, graduating in 1941. Lucille began a lifetime commitment of caring for the ill, as well as teaching young adults, who entered a career of nursing. Lucille often spoke, with great pride, when she told many stories to her family about her days, working at the "Old St. Mary's" Hospital in Walla Walla. Every second weekend in June, Lucille would look forward to a reunion with fellow St. Mary nursing alumni. In 2011, Lucille celebrated 70 years of friendship with her colleagues.
Dec. 14, 1941, began another lifetime commitment when she married the love of her life, Howard "Pete" Kelly in Walla Walla. Pete was a lifelong farmer in the Walla Walla area and Lucille balanced her love of nursing, motherhood, teaching and helping her husband during harvest time.
In 1961, after working for many doctors in Walla Walla, Lucille began her career as the director/teacher of the practical nursing (PN) program, taught in the old army barracks near the Walla Walla Regional Airport. In 1967, the PN classes moved to the old Walla Walla High School building on Park Street. In 1969, Lucille helped lead the Walla Walla Community College in offering an associate degree in nursing for the first time. In 1974, Lucille felt pride when the nursing program was recognized accredited by the National League for Nursing. Thus, this program offered the residents of Walla Walla an opportunity to pursue a nursing career without having to leave the area. Lucille continued as the director of that nursing program until her retirement. Also during that time, Lucille served on many Washington state boards for furthering nursing education in the state.
Pete and Lucille were together 60 plus years. They had a passion for raising many animals, on the ranch. After her retirement, Pete and Lucille enjoyed owning and training many thoroughbred racehorses. They traveled throughout Washington, Oregon and Arizona with their racehorses and the many dogs they raised at home.
Preceding Lucille in death was her loving husband, "Pete;" a brother, Stanley Sturgill; and two sons, Dean Arthur and Leland Howard Kelly. Survivors include Murieljean (Billy) Duncan III of Walla Walla and Raymond (Corki) Kelly of Olympia; along with 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Lucille would like everyone to remember her in the following poem, AFTER GLOW - I'd like the memory of me to be happy one. I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done. I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways, of happy times and laughing times and sunny days. I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun of happy memories that I leave when life is done. "Author Unknown"