Barbara M. (Shepley) Kelley

March 21, 1928April 16, 2021
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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


  • Calling Hours

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021


Barbara M. (Shepley) Kelley

have a memory or condolence to add?

Christopher Dailey

April 23, 2021

My heartfelt condolences for your loss. Barbara was so sweet and nice. I will remember her fondly from my years living across the street from her as a neighbor on Atlantic Avenue.

Debbie O'Connor

April 21, 2021

Dear Kathy and Family,

So sorry to hear of your mom's passing. Such fond memories from the many years of knowing Barbara, beginning long ago at Lying -In . She was always smiling, and was a great nurse.
Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

My deepest sympathies,
Debbie O'Connor (W&I Lab)

Laurel Dwyer-Gergerich

April 21, 2021

Kathi and family,
My deep sympathies on the loss of your mother. Wishing you peace and that your memories of her lift you up.
With love,
Laurel (from CLCC) and family

Carol Grenga Dailey

April 21, 2021

I am so sorry for your loss. Your mother was a wonderful person and a great neighbor. I have Wonderful memories growing up across the street. She stayed after her works hours at lying Inn (W&I) to support and share in the birth of my son, Chris. She will always be thought of fondly and sadly missed.
Deepest condolences

Cheryl Fetterolf

April 20, 2021

So sorry for your loss. Your mom was a great friend mom growing up and a better adult friend later on. Our parents are playing cards and having fun together again.

Donna LaFontaine

April 19, 2021

Absolutely a life well lived.!! .....and might I add Barbara not only taught a generation of nurses, but Doctors as well! She was the first kind mentor to this little intern in 1986. God bless you Barbara. I know you are resting in His Peace. Dr Donna LaFontaine

Jolin McCleskey

April 19, 2021

My deepest condolences to the whole family. An accomplished, amazing woman has passed. I’m honored to have met her.


April 19, 2021

So sorry so hear about Barbara. Lots of happy memories from family get togethers over the years. You will miss you and your wisdom. Love Lynn, Aaron and Redoyka Shepley

Donna Ruggieri

April 19, 2021

Dear Betty and family,

I remember your mom, she was a wonderful person! I’m sorry for your loss. Hold on to your memories my friend. My thoughts and prayers are with you ❤️

Liz Kelley

April 17, 2021

We celebrate a long and meaningful life today. You have earned a rest, mom.