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Elizabeth Sessions Kelsey
Elizabeth Sessions Kelsey

April 21, 1933 - May 27, 2019
Born in Lakewood, OH
Resided in Exeter, NH


Elizabeth Sessions Kelsey died suddenly on May 27, 2019 at her home in Exeter, NH. Liz was born on April 21,1933 to Marian Hill and William Crighton Sessions and was raised on the shores of Lake Erie in Lakewood, Ohio. She graduated from Hathaway Brown School and then Smith College in 1955. After college she moved to New York City, worked for Life Magazine and met Tom, her husband to be. Within a year, they married and began 61 wonderful years together.

Liz cherished her family and the numerous friends she made throughout her life from Cleveland to most recently Exeter. These personal connections were so very important to her. She diligently nurtured them by keeping in touch with visits and calls, as well as Christmas cards featuring the annual family photo, which Liz always orchestrated at family gatherings.

Becoming grandmother "Mimi" was one of Liz's happiest moments, when her first grandchild and namesake was born. There followed seven more, three boys and four girls, who were the joys of her life. Even her car license plate read "Mimi-8."

Liz and Tom started married life in San Francisco but before long moved east and settled first in Chatham and then Summit, NJ to raise their three children. Over several decades, Liz developed a life-long commitment to the NJ Center for the Visual Arts, serving as President and Gallery Committee member. Together with other volunteer members in the 1980s, Liz curated several exhibitions of up-and-coming artists who later became nationally known.

Liz enjoyed her book group of many decades and working with classmates as an active Smith College alumna. While residing in Bermuda, when Tom pursued a "retirement job" there, Liz made new friends from around the world. They started to spend winters in Naples, FL, where she rekindled friendships from her high school and college years with others who wintered in the area. Continuing to pursue her love of art, Liz took up photography, capturing special moments from her home and her travels.

After fifty years of living in New Jersey, Liz and Tom moved to Exeter, NH in 2010. Liz's connection to New Hampshire began years ago when they and their young children spent summer vacations on Squam Lake, ultimately building a home on the lake in Center Harbor. Liz loved this special place, gathering family and friends there, enjoying the lake, and watching the loons and vivid sunsets.

Liz is survived by her husband, Thomas V. A. Kelsey, her sister Margaret S. Penirian, her children; Margen Kelsey and husband Mark Pine, Suzanne Kelsey and husband Ken Siegert, and William Kelsey and wife Lea, and eight grandchildren; Liza, Tommy, and Carolyn Pine, Noel and Julia Siegert, and Hannah, Nate, and Lila Kelsey, and beloved nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at Christ Church (Episcopal), 43 Pine Street, Exeter, NH on Wednesday, June 26 at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, gifts in Liz's memory may be made to the Smith College Museum of Art,c/o Development Dept., 33 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01063 or the Trinity Episcopal Church Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 635, Meredith, NH 03253. Brewitt Funeral Service, 14 Pine St., Exeter, NH is assisting the family. For more information, please visit

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Memorial Service
Christ Episcopal Church
43 Pine Street
Exeter, NH 03833
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
11:00 AM
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