Carol Kelley

Carol Kelley

1929 - 2023

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Carol Wingert Kelley, formerly of Bedford, Texas, passed away peacefully on October 17, 2023, at Life Care Center of Port Orchard, Washington, with her daughter at her side. 


Carol was born in Chicago, Illinois to Elsa M. Schultheis and William F. Wingert, the third of three children. At the age of 6, Carol moved with her family to Sister Bay, Wisconsin.  Carol loved Sister Bay and often spoke of her experiences there, such as living on the lake, working in the cherry orchards during the summers, and helping her mother with summer guests from Chicago.


Carol’s grandparents lived in Hollywood, California, and she and her mother traveled by train every winter to spend a few months visiting.  Because of this, Carol attended schools in both California and Wisconsin, graduating in 1946 from Gibraltar High School in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. After high school, Carol enrolled at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, which she attended for two years and where she pledged the Delta Zeta Sorority. When her parents moved to California, Carol transferred to UCLA.  When the funds for college were depleted, she pursued her passion for airplanes and fighter jets, and she enrolled in Air College, graduating in 1950.  She took her first job at Western Airlines, where she was a proud ground agent for 5 years. 


In 1950, during a spur of the moment outing at a jazz club in San Francisco, Carol met the love of her life, a sailor named Conrad Kelley. Conrad was from Clarinda, Iowa, where the Kelley family had lived and farmed for many years.  They had their first date on Carol’s birthday, August 21st, and were married 4 months later, on December 9.  In March 1951, Conrad took Carol home to Clarinda to meet his parents, Charles R. Kelley and Rae Higgins, and his sisters Karen (Foote) and Janice (Kendrick). She has very fond memories of that visit. Carol and Conrad’s union lasted 55 years until Conrad’s passing in 2005.  A true love story! 


Carol retired from Western Airlines in 1955 to start their family and to support Conrad as he rose through the ranks in the building products' industry. She was his partner in every respect, packing up the home numerous times as Conrad was promoted to various positions around the country, entertaining his business colleagues when the occasion arose, and keeping the home and family going when he was away on business trips. Their last post was in Bedford, Texas, where Carol stayed until 2023. After Conrad’s retirement, they traveled extensively to Europe, China and India, and after Conrad’s passing, Carol continued to follow their dream of seeing the world.  And she did just that, by herself, taking amazing tours to dozens of countries. When she wasn’t traveling, Carol kept up her fitness program at Harris Fitness Center where she was a member for 30 years, and her friends were her work-out partners from Harris.     


Carol and Conrad had two girls, Gloria Rice (Bill) of Montpelier, Vermont, and Diane Golbeck (Bernard) of Port Orchard, Washington.  Carol loved her girls so much and was so proud of them and their families, and their professional accomplishments. 


Carol was pre-deceased by her father, William, her mother Elsa and step-father, John Crawford, her brothers Roger and William Wingert, and her beloved husband Conrad. Carol is survived by her daughters Gloria and Diane, her grandchildren Warren Rice of So. Essex, Vermont, Caroline Rice Forni (Steve) of Agawam, Massachusetts, Bernard Jr., Kristina, Daniel, and Frances Golbeck, and great-grandchildren Luca Kelley and Elinor Carol Forni whom she adored.  Carol leaves behind many friends from Texas, including Karen and George, Charna, Kaye, and Kathy from the fitness center, Gail, her beloved travel agent, and late in life friends, Ron and Muriel and their dog Sprout to whom Carol became very attached!  She also leaves behind her childhood friend, Verna, from Sister Bay. 


Graveside Service

10:30 am
Saturday, April 20, 2024
Memory Cemetery
xavier place
New Market , Iowa, United States


At the end of her life, Carol received amazing care from the staff at Life Care Center of Port Orchard, Washington, and Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Hospice. Donations to either organization in Carol’s name would be a true honor.
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Carol Kelley

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Carol Kelley

1929 - 2023

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