Valetta Patricia "Pat" KeelanSeptember 14, 1935 ~ July 2, 2017 (age 81)
Valetta Patricia Kelly Keelan, known to all as “Pat,” a resident of Butler, passed away on July 2, 2017 at the age of 81.
Pat was born in Pittsburgh, the eldest daughter of the late Edward and Valetta (Quail) Kelly on September 14, 1935. Pat was a true Pittsburgh girl, a whip-smart young woman who loved horses and took art classes at Carnegie Mellon. During her youth she also honed the skills she used throughout her life, those of a caregiver who loved her extended family unconditionally.
Pat married her greatest love, her husband Willam (Bill), on December 27, 1958. They began their family in Pittsburgh and welcomed three children before moving to the stone house on Muntz Avenue that became the hub of their lives. Pat raised her children in the local schools and St. Paul’s parish. Her kitchen smelled of the bread she baked every week, and there was always water on the stove for a cup of tea. It seemed she could make something wonderful out of nothing: she saved orange peels to make her own marmalade and quickly whipped up an egg custard if she thought the pound cake might be a little dry. She turned out delicious meals big enough, in her words, “to feed the Russian army.” But there was nothing she enjoyed more than dining at the big table on her porch surrounded by family and friends.
Long an active presence in the Butler community, Pat collected friends. Butler residents probably recall seeing her brisk, daily trudge down Main Street Hill then up to Meals on Wheels, where she proudly worked for thirty years, first as a volunteer and then as the volunteer coordinator. She treasured those walks and, when asked if she wanted a lift, she’d politely decline, explaining that she liked to "stretch her legs.” She loved her home but also had a great passion for travel. From family ski trips to Peek’n Mountain and beyond and beach vacations to the Outer Banks and beyond, to unforgettable travels around the globe—Egypt, the UK, Turkey, Harbour Island and Italy—with Bill, she never met a stranger, not in the entire world.
In addition to her work with Meals on Wheels, Pat was a committed volunteer with the League of Women Voters, the Maridon Museum, and many other community organizations. She is survived by her beloveds: her husband Bill of Butler; her children Gill (Memsy), Eileen, and John (Alessia); her six granddaughters, Maggie, Emmaleigh, Julia, Kate, Livia, and Anna; her brother, Joseph Kelly; her Cameron, Keelan, Kelly, and Knight nieces, nephews, and in-laws; and legions of friends she loved like family. She is pre deceased by her brother Edward Jr. and sister (and dearest friend) Nell Knight.
Friends will be received at the Geibel Funeral Home, 201 East Cunningham Street, Butler, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Wednesday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, at 10:00 a.m., at St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, 128 North McKean Street, Butler. Internment will follow in Calvary Cemetery, Butler.
St. Paul's Catholic Women and Christian Mothers will meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Church to recite the Rosary.
In lieu of flowers, her family asks that you consider a donation to Butler Meals on Wheels and take a moment to stretch your legs and enjoy the view.