Obituary: Lynn Kelly, wife of former Observer Art Director Duane Kelly, dies at 53

Lynn Italiano Kelly
Lynn Italiano Kelly

Lynn [Italiano] Kelly, of Brick, died suddenly on Sept. 22.

She was 53.

Lynn lived most of her life in North Arlington before moving to Brick several years ago.

For many years, she worked as a secretary at Job & Job Consulting Engineers in Hackensack, retiring several years ago to help tend to her own health and the well-being of her elderly mother-in-law.

There were many things that brought great joy to Lynn’s life, but of them, the most important things were her especially being with and enjoying life with her husband Duane Kelly, her two step-daughters, Carissa and Liana, her cats, her love for penguins, spending time with friends and family at her Jersey Shore home and tending to her garden each year.

Most days, especially in the summer months, you’d find Lynn taking some of the items she grew in her garden to make impeccable meals with Duane. She loved to share those meals with friends and family — and she often took photos of the final product to share with others on Facebook. And boy did those photos always display food fit for royalty.

Following her unexpected death, so many of the remembrances that flowed in on Facebook recalled how once you became Lynn’s friend, you had a friend for life.

“The very first time I met Lynn, she hugged me, gave me a kiss on the cheek, and said ‘You will always be welcome in our home,’” one of the tributes read. “At that moment, I knew I had a friend for life — and someone who no matter where life took us, would always be there in my corner. Needless to say, that never changed.”

Many also recalled just how much she adored Duane — and how deeply they were in love. Unthinkably, Lynn died on what would have been her 11th wedding anniversary.

“When I was a dork 7th-grader in NA, there was this cool, hip chick who sat next to me in two classes,” the tribute said. “I was totally intimidated, but found over the course of the year she was an absolute sweetheart — and so kind to this dork when many were not. Years later, I wrote to her on Facebook to tell her of her kindness.

“She did not remember at all, but we still became friends. Though not always feeling great, she nonetheless posted daily of her gratitude for life — her loving husband, their daughters, her cats, her swans, her friends, her garden and the delicious meals she and her husband prepared. Last night, she was taken by a massive heart attack. Instantly gone. And I am numb and stunned. Rest in peace, Lynn Kelly. God has gained another beautiful soul.”

Lynn leaves behind her adoring husband of 11 years, Duane; two step-daughters, Liana and Carissa; her best friend, Cathy D’Alessio; and countless friends and relatives.

A wake will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Weatherhead Young Funeral Home, 885 Mantoloking Road, Brick. Cremation will be private.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, you make a donation either at the funeral home or by mailing a donation to the funeral home, which will be later sent to one of Lynn’s favorite charities, yet to be determined.

Learn more about the writer ...

Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.