April 13, 1937 – Sept. 6, 2019
Mary Kelleher died on Sept. 6, 2019.
She died at home from chronic lymphocytic leukemia with her family around her.
Mary was born in Bozeman Montana, on April 13, 1937 to Jasper and Irena (Gentry) Bridgewater. Mary grew up with her siblings in the Helena area. She lived in Helena, Montana and raised her children from husbands Ronald (Ronnie) Bossell and Vince Kelleher until she and Vince moved to Alaska in 1975.
She came to Alaska to talk Vince out of the idea of moving the family to Alaska, but before her feet even hit the ground she was in love with this state. However, it’s when she moved to Homer with her oldest daughter Rondy in 1985, that her life began. Mary explored many professions in Homer including crab fisherwoman, houseboat deckhand, furniture builder, and Body Scentuals entrepreneur — but her expertise in spreading joy, laughter and kindness was put to use as a bartender where she developed many close friends.
Through all of Mary’s life her sister Jo (Felch) was her true life companion. Those two saw each other through each of their life’s trials and joys until Jo died in 2014.
Mary’s daughters are what she truly treasured. It was Mary’s special gift of making you feel like you were the most important and special person on the planet that created the lifelong squabble of just who was the favorite daughter. But we all know it was “us.” Mary’s girls, grandchildren and great-grandchildren carry her lessons of love, joy and persistent positive outlook. Her love of life was contagious, and the sound of her laughter has been the soundtrack of their lives.
Mary is survived by children Rondy Matthews (Kelly Matthews, and daughter Breezy Whitaker), Lori Schultz (son, Ryan), Kim Skufca (son, Emerson), Kelly Bender (Mike Bender and children Steven, Morgan and Dylan), and Marie Louderback (John Louderback); great-grandchildren, Steven Reichel, Brishel Booth (Geoff Booth),and Colton Taylor; closest nephew Marc Felch; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Mary’s celebration of life was held Sept. 10 at Kharacters in Homer, Alaska. The family asks in lieu of flowers to please donate to Hospice of Homer, which has been a blessing to the family.
Mary would always say “Those who can laugh at themselves shall never cease to be amused.”