Kathleen Kelley

Obituary of Kathleen Anne Kelley

Kathleen Anne Kelley, 51, of Falls Church,  Virginia, died December 10, 2023, from complications of acute myeloid leukemia. Born July 7, 1972 in California, Kathleen was the only daughter of Ann Dierking Kelly, who predeceased her in 1992, and John Angus Kelly. She is survived by her husband of twenty-nine years, David Griffith Kelley, and her two sons, John Edward Kelley and Andrew Griffith Kelley.


Kathleen grew up primarily in Virginia, where she attended Annandale High School and The University of Virginia. After majoring in History and Middle East Studies, and minoring in Astronomy, she enrolled at Washington and Lee School of Law, where she earned her J.D. cum laude. Following law school, she maintained an active and successful career as a corporate transactional attorney, working in prominent law firms in Delaware and Virginia, where she developed a reputation for her leadership and service. She was particularly known for her brilliance and pragmatism as well as her care for clients and colleagues. Kathleen was an eager mentor, not only teaching and publishing about legal matters, but also never failing to offer encouragement and advice to others. Though she won numerous awards and honors, she always focused her attention on her community, serving on numerous boards, and tirelessly advocating for her clients.


In her personal life, she married her high school sweetheart, David, just after college, and later had two beautiful sons, John and Andrew. She was loving and fiercely devoted to them, along with her extended family and friends. She enjoyed food and wine, and thought of them as an opportunity for adventure, whether experiencing new restaurants or using her substantial knowledge and skill to cook extraordinary dishes at home, and she valued any meal as an opportunity to enjoy time with others. Kathleen was a fine musician, playing piano and French horn, sometimes singing in the church choir, but always keeping music in her life, especially classical and choral music. She was athletic, and enjoyed running and particularly cycling, which allowed her to reduce her carbon footprint, another initiative to which she was committed. Kathleen was also active at her church, volunteering in many worship and outreach ministries, and striving to help and serve others, as was her nature. All who knew her will miss her compassion and her sense of humor, along with all the ways she continually enriched their lives.


Donations in Kathleen’s memory may be made to:


Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

PO Box 22324

New York, NY 10087


Church of the Holy Comforter

543 Beulah Rd NE

Vienna, VA 22180


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A Memorial Tree was planted for Kathleen
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Advent Funeral and Cremation Services - Falls Church
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