Kathleen McGillicuddy Kelly
Kathleen McGillicuddy Kelly passed away on March 19, 2021 in the home she lived in for 53 years in Phoenix, AZ, surrounded by her children. Born in Portland, OR, she spent her early years in Philadelphia, PA and New York City, NY, and raised her family in Phoenix, AZ. She was preceded in death by her husband, Clifford Brian Kelly, Sr., son, Brian Mayo Kelly, parents, Roy F. McGillicuddy and Margaret M. McGillicuddy, siblings, Dorothy McGillicuddy Drobile, Thomas McGillicuddy and Cornelius (Connie) McGillicuddy.
She was the granddaughter of Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy aka Connie Mack, pioneer of the game of baseball and known as "The Grand Old Man of Baseball", who owned and managed the Philadelphia Athletics major league baseball team and is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Kathleen was famous in her own right performing as a Radio City Music Hall Rockette in the early 50's. She was a dance teacher/choreographer, teaching precision tap through her dance company, The Kelly Dancers, who also performed at many venues throughout the Valley. She taught modern jazz at Xavier High School in Phoenix, AZ for 15 years. Her love for flamenco dance was realized by performing with the Laura Moya Spanish Dance Company.
Kathleen threw out the first pitch in four major league baseball games, including the Connie Mack World Series in Farmington, N.M., Arizona Diamondbacks, Oakland Athletics and most notably the day Philadelphia retired Veterans Memorial Stadium where she stood side by side with Ruth McGillicuddy, the only surviving daughter of Connie Mack, and with then U.S. Senator Connie Mack III of Florida, all throwing out the first pitch at the same time in front of 50,000 cheering fans. Kathleen loved her Arizona sports teams, especially the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Kathleen was a proud American and Arizonan. She was published locally numerous times for her passionate views.
She loved going to her grandchildren's sporting and choir events. Kathleen loved her Irish roots having visited Ireland with her daughter Beth Kelly. She also traveled to see relatives in California, Maui, Pennsylvania, Charleston, Florida and Kentucky. She loved spending time with her friends, going to exercise classes, lunches, happy hours and dinners. Kathleen was loved, cherished, and respected by all who had the good fortune of meeting her. To say she lived a full and wonderful life is an understatement. She was the embodiment of vitality and positive energy.
Kathleen was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church and a devout Catholic. Kathleen is survived by her daughters and sons, Elizabeth A. Kelly, Sean M. Kelly, Clifford B. Kelly, Jr., Kathleen K. Poupore, and Karen S. Kelly; grandchildren Brian, Jack, and Luke Poupore; Rio, Saydi, Levi, and Ronan Kelly.
Visitation and Rosary will be held on April 28, 5-7pm, at Hansen Mortuary, 8314 N. 7th Street, Phoenix. Visitation livestream:
The Funeral Mass will be held April 29, 10:00am, at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, 4715 N. Central Ave, Phoenix. The livestream of Kathleen's funeral Mass will be available at 10:00am, April 29th at the following link. https://sfxphx.org/livestream
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Ballet Arizona: The Kathleen M. Kelly Memorial Dance Scholarship, supporting students with financial aid to fulfill their dreams and further their love of dance. Gifts can be made by check or phone to: Ballet Arizona, 2835 E. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ 85034, 602-343-6510 or online by visiting https://balletaz.org/support/donate-now/ Attn: Kathleen M. Kelly Memorial.