Barbara M. (Shepley) Kelley

March 21, 1928April 16, 2021
Obituary of {subject.fullNameWithPrefixAndSuffix}

Barbara Mary (Shepley) Kelley passed away on April 16, 2021. Barbara was born March 21, 1928 in New Bedford, MA to the late James and Marjorie Shepley. She grew up in New Bedford and spent her summers at the family cottage on Long Pond in East Freetown. It was her lifelong happy place and it remains the family happy place to this day. She joined the US Cadet Nurse Corps in 1945, graduating as an RN from the St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1948.

Barbara enjoyed a distinguished career at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence RI as a labor and delivery nurse, where she assured the safe delivery of many hundreds of babies into this world during her 40+ year tenure. You could also say that she ushered a good many nurses into their profession as a mentor and friend - including both of her daughters and one of her granddaughters. Barbara was an active member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Pawtucket RI where she ran a soup kitchen for many years after her retirement from nursing. In addition to her dearly loved family and the profession of nursing, she loved horses, dogs, travel, photography, swimming, knitting, sewing, gardening, and playing cards with her long-time friends every Wednesday.

Barbara married Frank J. Kelley of E. Providence RI in 1952 and they raised three children in N. Providence RI; Elizabeth C. Kelley of Orleans MA, Robert Kelley of Portland OR, and Kathleen Kelley (John) Redman of Wrentham. She is survived by her three children, seven grandchildren; Sage Silver and Aaron Kelley of Portland OR, Amrita Kelley of Los Angeles, Peter Vennerbeck of Hyannis MA, Kate Vennerbeck of Brewster, MA, Meredith and Ben Redman of Wrentham MA, one great-grandchild, Nova Grace Silver of Portland, OR, stepson Frank Kelley of Cumberland RI, brother Jim (Pauline) Shepley of Enfield CT, and much loved cousins Marybeth (Roger) Holmes, Janet (David) Miranda and Lynn Shepley.

Calling hours will be at Nickerson Funeral Home in Orleans, MA, April 21, 4P to 7P and at R.J. Ross Funeral Home in Wrentham, MA April 23, 4P to 7P. Funeral will be private due to Covid restrictions.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Meals On Wheels of Providence RI, which helped Barbara to stay independent at home for many months. For online condolences, please visit

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Past Services

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

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