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Margaret Louise Kelly

February 11, 1939 January 16, 2018
Margaret Louise Kelly
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Obituary for Margaret Louise Kelly

Margaret Louise Kelly

Margaret Louise Kelly (Norgord)
Margaret was born February 11, 1939, in Bovey MN, and passed away on January 16, 2018 in University Place, WA. She is survived by son Robert Stickler in Tacoma. She was raised on a family farm, oldest child of Theodore and Dorothy Norgord, both deceased, and a sibling to brother Robert (deceased) and sister Phyllis (deceased). Another brother, Stanley Norgord, survived her and lives in Rogue River, OR.
Farm life was harsh with cold winters and many chores, but Margaret studied hard and graduated with honors from Bemidji State College. She began her career life teaching in Puerto Rico where she made lifelong friends and learned to check her shoes in the morning for cockroaches. She moved to the state of Washington with a 1962 Plymouth Valiant that barely made it over Snoqualmie Pass in a winter storm. She settled in Tacoma and attended the University of Puget Sound, working towards an advanced degree in literature. At the university she met and eventually married Matthew Stickler (deceased) of Tacoma. Following college days, they lived near Olympia but eventually purchased a cozy craftsman bungalow on Tacoma’s North Slope. It was during that time that son Robert was born in 1973.
Margaret’s career life included recruiting for the Washington Army National Guard, serving with the Tacoma Police Department in its Law Enforcement Support Agency, teaching for Franklin Peirce High School, and later for the Catholic Arch Diocese of Western Washington at St Leo and St Patrick Parishes in Tacoma.
In 1991 she married Eugene Kelly (deceased) of Chatsworth, MN where they lived until his retirement in 1994. They returned to the Tacoma North Slope home to escape Minnesota’s bitter winter weather.
Margaret was a woman of many interests and passions and an active member of many local groups including Toastmasters, Victory Music, Mensa, The Poetry Connection, Friends of St. Albans, and Central Lutheran and St. Leo Parishes in Tacoma. She was a lover of fine wine and big cooking and entertained at many dinner parties for family and friends. She assumed many leadership roles in both the community and church. She was a good neighbor, a talented gardner, an accomplished photographer, a self-taught pianist, and had a talent for remembering birthdays with cards and creative handmade gifts. Her interest in flying earned her a private pilot’s license where the ultimate adventure was parachuting out of a plane on her birthday. She appreciated art, music, language, poetry, and good literature and advocated for those causes in the community and with Native American tribes. She mentored international families and students, tutored students in the community, sponsored a gifted children’s program, volunteered at Girl Scout camp, sang in the church choir, was a lay scripture reader, and wrote the Art Beat column for the local Senior Scene newspaper. She was a published poet. In later years she advocated for international peace and justice, initiating and participating efforts to control and contain wars and conflicts, and to lift vulnerable populations out of poverty and homelessness. She attended as many concerts and symphonies as she could fit into her schedule, especially enjoying the Northwest Sinfonietta.
She was always excited to share her Finnish heritage with anyone who would listen. She took pride in growing up in a Minnesota Finnish community. In later years she traveled and lived for periods of time in South Korea, the Hawaiian Islands, and Italy, teaching and studying language, art, and culture.
Margaret will be remembered for her beautiful smile, sharp wit, green thumb, gracious hospitality, compassionate heart, and unwavering support of, and service to, causes she believed in. Margaret lived “ the mountain was out,” and she will be missed.
Funeral Mass to be held on Friday, February 9, 2018, at St. Leo Parish, 710 South 13th Street in Tacoma, beginning at 12 noon. Potluck reception to follow in the adjoining Bix Parish Hall.

Arrangements by Edwards Memorial, Funerals Homes, Chapels and Crematories.

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Previous Events

Funeral Mass




12:00 PM 2/9/2018 12:00:00 PM
St. Leo Parish

710 S. 13th St.
Tacoma, WA 98405

Please join the family for a Potluck Reception in the adjoining Bix Parish Hall

St. Leo Parish
710 S. 13th St. Tacoma 98405 WA
United States

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