Rosellen Clark Kelbley, 86, passed away early afternoon Saturday, July 7, 2012, at Elmwood Assisted Living Center in Tiffin.
She was born Jan. 2, 1926, to Tip Owen and Wealtha (Cross) Clark in the home of her maternal grandparents, James and Elnora (Wonder) Cross, on the Baseline Road east of Vanlue. She married Marion Kelbley on Aug. 11, 1990, at St. Boniface Church, New Riegel. They enjoyed travel, playing cards and the company of their friends and family.
She is survived by her brothers and sisters-in-law, Ronald and Phyllis Clark of Upper Sandusky, Patricia Clark of Attica, and Ralph and Joyce Clark of Hurricane, W.Va.; and her four stepchildren, Barbara (Patrick) Darrigan of McBain, Mich., Theresa (Carl) Arnold, James (Jane) Kelbley and Gerald (Susie) Kelbley, all of Tiffin. She enjoyed sharing and providing support to her four nieces, two nephews, 15 stepgrandchildren, and 22 stepgreat-grandchildren.
Preceding her in death were her parents, husband, and one brother, Ross Clark.
Mrs. Kelbley spent her childhood years in the farming communities of Hancock and Seneca counties. She graduated from Melmore High School in 1944. After high school, she worked at the U.S. Army Depot in Shelby, a farm equipment dealer, a realty company, and at Heidelberg College to earn money for her college tuition.
Graduating from Heidelberg College in 1951 with a bachelor of arts degree in home economics, she was the first woman in her family to earn a college degree. She began her teaching career at Republic Schools and continued teaching at Clinton Junior High School in Columbus while earning a graduate degree at The Ohio State University. Relocating to Tiffin in 1971, she taught at Attica High School and then provided guidance to students while teaching at The Ohio Soldier's & Sailor's Orphans' Home, a private school in Xenia. Witnessing the events of the 1974 tornado as it passed her campus was a memorable experience for her.
After retiring from teaching, she redirected her focus to helping clients at Seneca County Detention Center and later as director of the home of Daughters of America. She was an avid lover of nature, and especially enjoyed bird watching. She was an accomplished painter, pianist and organist. Her nieces and nephews fondly recall adventures they had with "Aunt Rosie" traveling the back roads of Ohio, exploring new places and making new discoveries. Her interest in learning and exploration planted seeds of lifelong learning for others in her family.
Her memorial service is 10:30 a.m. Thursday, July 12, 2012, at Memorial United Methodist Church, Carey, with the Rev. Penny Magee officiating. Burial will follow at Spring Grove Cemetery in Carey.
Visitation is 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, at Stombaugh-Batton Funeral Home, Carey, and one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.
With many family members participating in 4-H and activities at the fair, the family requests memorials be made to Seneca County 4-H Foundation in care of Stombaugh-Batton Funeral Home, 225 W. Findlay St., Carey, OH 43316.
Mrs. Kelbley's family would like to thank staff at Elmwood Assisted Living at the Shawhan and Stein Hospice of Sandusky for the wonderful caring attention they gave her.
Online condolences may be sent to www.stombaughbatton.com.