KELPINSKI, GERALDINE N.
On the afternoon of March 18,2017 at Bay County Medical Care Facility, Geraldine “Gerry” Kelpinski quietly drifted from this life into the embrace of her husband, son, daughter, relatives and the many friends waiting for her on the other side. She was born February 22, 1922 to the late Walter and Marie (Burczyk) Sobecki in Flint, Michigan. Gerry graduated from Bay City St. James High School in 1939, was active in their annual reunions, and was one of the last surviving classmates. After graduation, she attended Bay City Business College where she met her husband, Chester C. Kelpinski, and they were married November 20, 1943. For a short time, she worked in the secretarial pool for the Dow Chemical Corporation in Midland, MI before she left to raise her family. After many years as a homemaker, she went to work for J. C. Penney & Co. from which she retired after 22 years as a sales clerk. Gerry was long-time member of St. John the Evangelist Church – St. Jude Thaddeus Parish, and the League of Catholic Women & Men. Along with her husband, Chet, she was active in many local organizations including the AMVETS, P.L.A.V., and the American Legion. For many years, she was the corresponding secretary for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Association. Gerry was one of two remaining members of a lady’s Bridge Club that met for well over 65 years.
Gerry was a joyful and open soul. Her greatest joy and accomplishment was the loving home she created for her family and friends. Always welcoming and ready with a snack, a meal, a soda pop, coffee or a beer; She was available for a nice chat and always – with a smile. Through the years, she was happiest when surrounded by the joyful chaos of family gatherings. In her last years at BCMC Facility, Gerry was a constant, sunny presence for the staff and residents making new friends, and even renewing old friendships from her youth. She was always ready with a smile and a kind word. She was a member of the facility’s Resident Council. She will be sorely missed.
All of Gerry’s family sincerely thanks her “other family” at BCMC Facility for the past three years plus. From the first walk in the front door – the office staff, administration, nursing, social workers, physical therapy, activities department, the beauty shop, dietary, laundry, and maintenance each made her life a little easier. We want to recognize the whole staff on 1-East and especially for the last few weeks, Dana, Mary Beth, Chris, Cameron, and Mary, and her first aide, Shawn when she arrived December 2013.
Gerry is survived by her three children: Sandi (Henry) Bridges, Nancy (Jack) MacKenzie, all of Bay City; Peter Kelpinski (E. Roger Bartman) of Leesburg, VA; seven grandchildren: Matthew (Suzanne) MacKenzie of Essexville, Rebecca (Jeremy) Staples of Steele, AL, Suzanna Bridges (Bill Green), Benjamin (Lisa) MacKenzie, Jeffry (Kristin) MacKenzie, Daniel, and Katie Cabala (Andrew Janke) all of Bay City. Eight great grandchildren: Lauren Anne and Grace Kelly Staples, Gavin and Aidan MacKenzie, Cecilia and Elle MacKenzie, Emmalyn and Lilianna MacKenzie; her son-in-law: Greg Cabala; and her sister-in-law: Doris Kell of Howell, MI.
Gerry was preceded in death by her parents; her son, David in 1999; her daughter, Anne Cabala in 2002; her husband in 2006; and her two sisters, Dorothy McKellip and Kathleen Herber; plus many relatives and friends. "Wait for us….we’ll meet you there”.
The Funeral Liturgy will be celebrated Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 10:00 am in St. Jude Thaddeus Parish (St. John the Evangelist Church) 614 Pine St., Essexville. Gerry will lie in state in church Tuesday after 9:00 am. Rev. Dale A. Orlik will preside and interment will follow in St. Stanislaus Kostka Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be designated for St. Jude Thaddeus Parish or the Bay County Medical Care Facility. Visiting hours with the family will be Monday, March 27, 2017 from 2:00 until 8:00 pm, with the Vigil Prayer Service at 7:00 pm at the W. A. Trahan Funeral Chapel. For on-line sentiments: www.trahanfc.com
256 N. Madison, Bay City