Laurette Kelley

Obituary of Laurette Healy Kelley

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Heaven gained another angel, and the Earth lost a shining light on January 6, 2024, as Laurette “Sookey” Healy Kelley of Syracuse and Bonita Springs, Florida, was welcomed to eternal life by her husband of 50 years, Martin “Bud” Kelley, together with countless family, and friends.   


Her children, grandchildren, great-children and seemingly endless spread of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends are heartbroken for this loss, but we know she is happy and at peace in heaven.  In keeping with the joy that she brought to so many, we expect she will be welcomed home with a fabulous party.  


Sookey was born on November 17, 1928, to the late Laurette and William “Les” Healy.  She grew up in Syracuse and graduated from Nottingham High School before “embracing the Back Bay” while attending the Katherine Gibbs School in Boston.  She returned home to Central New York, working for the Empire Telephone Company and MacElroy Law Firm before meeting and marrying the love of her life, Bud, on June 2, 1951.  


Sookey and Bud raised 9 children together.  They provided each one of them with a lifetime’s worth of love while making a life of laughter and memories for themselves.  Sookey and Bud celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2001 prior to Bud’s passing in August of that year.  Their commitment to each other, their family and their legion of friends was an inspiration and an aspiration to everyone who knew and loved them.  


Sookey was a member of Bellevue Country Club for more than 70 years and a beloved presence on the Winkworth hills where she made 3 holes in one and endeared herself to generations of friends.  She was a member of Highland Woods Country Club in Bonita Springs, Florida since 1996 where, even in her later years, she continued to pursue her love of golf, refine her bridge game, learn to play and enjoy bocce and expand the circle of people who considered her a gift in their lives. 


Throughout the years, Sookey gave freely of her time as a volunteer to the CBA Mothers Club, Bishop Ludden High School, Francis House, Community General Hospital and the Onondaga Hill Library.  To this day, nobody is quite sure where she came up with that time, given her dedication to family and friends, but she did it. 


Sookey was predeceased by her parents, her husband Bud and family members including, Mary and Lew Jones, Martha and John McMahon, Pat and Dick Ludington, Howard Barth, William and Martha Healy, Kitty Healy, Mary Lu and Ed Pfohl, Kathleen Iles, Mark Ludington, Chris Ludington, Thomas Barth, Will O’Connor and Katie Iles.


She is survived by her 9 children:  Karen (Jim) Sparkes, Marty (Linda) Kelley, Nancy Gearhart, Tim (Peg) Kelley and Mary (Stephen) Rake all of Syracuse, Kevin Kelley of Saratoga Springs, NY, Tom (Sue) Kelley of Rochester, Matt (Jan) Kelley of Dallas, TX, and Danny (Heidi) Kelley of Austin, TX. 


She is also survived by her beloved grandchildren who universally adored and appreciated their “Nana”:  Matthew (Susan) Sparkes, Bryan (Beccah) Sparkes, Sam Kelley, Joe Kelley, Blair Gearhart, Tim (Heather) Gearhart, Andrew Gearhart, Patrick Kelley, Chris (Renee) Kelley, Addie Kelley, Bess (Willie) Fischer, Jake Costa,  Matthew Kelley and Patrick Kelley, Tim (Katie) Kelley, Jack Kelley, Ellie (Trevor) Hills, Kelley (Jonathan) Galeotti, Lauren (Keeton) Livingston and Kaitlyn Sookey Kelley. 


Sookey was also proud to be a source of light and unending good humor to her great-grandchildren Oliver, Will, Elsa and Lucy Sparkes, Grace and Brayden Galeotti, Kennedy Kelley and Emma Fischer along with 3 more great-grandchildren on the way.


She is also survived by her sister Barbara Barth, her brother Dan (Gillian) Healy and the noted legion of nieces, nephews and relations that come with a large, classic Irish family. 


Sookey was in her glory when in the company of family and friends, and she illuminated every room she entered with her grace and impeccable style.  She recently celebrated her 95th birthday in the presence of 46 members of her immediate family and enjoyed her time in this life for the entirety of its long and brilliantly spent duration. 


She leaves behind a huge void and will be deeply missed yet everyone that knew and loved her will go forward, inspired by her unending dedication to family, friends and faith.  We are incredibly grateful for her constant love, encouragement, support and the world’s best chocolate chip cookies. 


In Sookey’s honor, we would ask that anyone who had the gift of knowing her, and anyone else who reads this tribute to her life, try every day to follow her three rules: (1) Be kind, (2) Be kind, and (3) Be kind. 


We love you, Mom. 


Calling hours will be on Tuesday, January 9, 2024 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Edward J. Ryan & Son Funeral Home, 3180 Bellevue Ave. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10am on Wednesday, January 10, 2024 at St. Michael’s St. Peter’s Church, with burial in St. Agnes Cemetery in Syracuse, New York. Her funeral will be live streamed, link accessible on St. Michael's St. Peter's website:


In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Sookey’s memory to Francis House, an organization near to her heart, at 108 Michaels Avenue, Syracuse, New York 13208.

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Calling Hours

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Tuesday, January 9, 2024
Edward J Ryan & Son Funeral Home, Inc.
3180 Bellevue Avenue
Syracuse, New York, United States
(315) 468-3443


10:00 am
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
St. Michael - St. Peter Church
4782 W Seneca Turnpike
Syracuse, New York, United States


11:15 am
Wednesday, January 10, 2024
St. Agnes Cemetery
South Ave
Syracuse, New York, United States
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Laurette Kelley

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Laurette Kelley

1928 - 2024

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