Mary Catherine Kelly
January 2, 1944 – August 26, 2020
Memenasimok (thunder bird) Makosi wbik (lil’ bear) Niiganiwo gimakwe (leading woman) Pagochiqwes Pizhew Clan (Lynx) 4th degree Midewiwin
It's with great sadness we the family of Mary Catherine Kelly announce the passing of our dear mother, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother, friend and spiritual advisor on Wednesday, August 26, 2020 at the LaVerendrye General Hospital in Fort Frances, ON.
She lived in Onigaming all her life. She loved her family and people dearly. She left a legacy of kindness, forgiveness, love, spirituality, and unity. She passed on the Anishinaabe teachings and values. She was a humble and well respected Elder for Fort Frances Tribal Area Health Authority, Weechitiwin Family Services, Grand Council Treaty 3, Onigaming School and her home community. She smoked her pipe daily praying for her family and everyone in the community. Her message to the people in her community was to love each other, help each other and work together for a healthy community for the children.
She worked as a medical driver, carpenter and commercial fisherwoman. She enjoyed watching ballgames and hockey, especially of her grandson and great grandchildren. She enjoyed trips to the Casino and helping her community with ceremonies as well as teaching children.
She will be greatly missed by her daughters Yvonne Kelly and Thelma Kelly (Derek); grandsons Sheldon Kelly Sr. (Sarah), Jessie Kelly and Radyus Kelly; great grandchildren Sheldon Kelly Jr. and Samantha Kelly as well as numerous nephews and nieces. She loved her in laws Leslie Cameron.
She is now with all her family and husband in the spirit world. The are having a big happy family reunion. She joins her husband John Jim Kelly; daughter Janice Rose Kelly; siblings Thomas Indian (Elsie), John Indian (Bella), Paul Indian, Louisa Shebagegit (Frank), Joe Indian and Stanley Indian (Dorothy).
A traditional ceremony was held on Saturday, August 28, 2020 at the Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation Community Hall with Elders Fred Kelly and Charlie Nelson officiating.
Interment will take place in the Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation Cemetery.
The pallbearers will be Ernest Cobiness Sr., Ernest Cobiness Jr., James Wolfleg, Pete Cobiness, Raven Cobiness, Roger Allen, Bryden Kelly and Jamie Kelly.
The honourary pallbearers will be Sheldon Kelly, Jessie Kelly, Frank Tom, Bessie Tom, Phyllis Shaugbay, Jane Tom and Fred Kelly.
With love from her family. We love you mom, grandma, and aunty.
Friday, August 28, 2020
Traditional Funeral Ceremony
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Mary Catherine Kelly
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August 30, 2020
To the family and friends of the late beloved Catherine Mary Kelly, it is with deepest sympathy that I write this to you all. Catherine had a vibrant personality and a humbleness and a great sense of humour to use laughter as part of our healing. Her deep sense and respect for ceremony and the lodges given to our people by Creation she believed as a blessing for our people to heal and to be well. She would attend the lodge to put in requests for her children and Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren when she did this she didn’t think of herself until she put in that special request for healing and wellness for her loved ones as she had the gift of language, thoughtfulness a strong love and kindness. This special lady and our Elder will always be in my heart ❤️ She brought to me the will to keep working with the lodge as she taught me never forget your own healing as we need you to be well so we can come to the lodge. This really touched me when she visited me during my own illness years ago to bring me messages and teachings. Catherine would call me fairly regularly during times of need or just to talk or ask me questions her last call and message I had saved. We had talked about her question already. As I went through my voice mail, there was her voice leaving me a message in a clear voice no signs of laboured breathing as she often had telling me no worries just have a question for you, as she liked to share and go over things for assurance. I found myself saving her last voice message. I wasn’t ready to let her voice go. I tried to grieve and it didn’t come and I realized what she expected of me, to make sure her Grandson Jessie had support and wasn’t alone. I called my Uncle Ernie Cobiness right away and sure enough he was with Jessie. Migwetch Catherine always with love and will never forget you.
August 28, 2020
Katharine & her sister Louisa taught me alot about the ways because I missed so much in residential school. I am going to miss Katharine. Condolences to the family!