Cover photo for Christine J. Kelley's Obituary
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1927 Christine 2024

Christine J. Kelley

September 3, 1927 — February 18, 2024

New Middletown

NEW MIDDLETOWN - Christine Julia Kelley (née Ruggerio), passed away peacefully in her sleep on February 18, 2024, at the age of 96. Born on September 3, 1927 in Youngstown, Ohio, she was the beloved daughter of Frank T. and Mary G. Ruggiero (née Grainy/Cinquegrana).

Christine's journey through life was enriched by her loving marriage to Harold Dean Kelley, who preceded her in death. Their love story began at an Italian Festival in Youngstown, where her dear friend, and later sister-in-law, Mary Kelley (née Guerriero), played matchmaker. A testament to their enduring love was the countless letters exchanged between them while Harold served in the Navy, leading to a beautiful union on June 5, 1948.

A 1946 graduate of Rayen High School in Youngstown, Ohio, Christine embarked on a fulfilling career. She dedicated ten years as a waitress at Strouss Dept. Store in Youngstown, followed by another decade as a Clerical Typist in the History Department at Youngstown State University. After twenty years of devoted service, she retired to fully embrace her most coveted roles as a wife, mother, grandmother of 14, great-grandmother of 24, and great-great-grandmother of 4. Christine was an active member of the church choir and a skilled contributor to the church kitchen. Her commitment to her faith was also evident through her involvement in women's ministries there.

Christine found joy in various pursuits beyond time spent with her family, including fishing, cooking, and traveling. She loved the ocean, as evidenced by her many trips to Myrtle Beach, Ocean Isle, Bonita Springs, and cruising with Harold. She enjoyed sharing her decades of recipes and knowledge in the kitchen with anyone willing to learn.

Christine leaves behind a legacy of love and family. She is survived by her children, Harold P. Kelley, Jr. (Lorrie) of Columbiana, Darlene A. Kelley of New Middletown, Jacalyn M. Spayde (Charles) of Willoughby, and Kathleen J. Orr of Wildwood, Florida. She is also survived by her brother, Augustine Ruggiero of Austintown; and her sisters, Antamella F. DoCompo of Canfield  and Janet M. Banko (Joe) of Austintown.

She is preceded in death by her parents; her loving husband; son-in-law, Lyle “Kenneth” Orr; brothers, John A. Ruggiero, Dominic J. Ruggiero, Frank J. Ruggiero, Jr., and Ralph A. Ruggiero; and sister, Philomena M. Ferraro.

Friends and family are invited to pay their respects during the visitation from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 22, 2024, at the Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home, 270 North Main Street, Poland, Ohio 44514. A second visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Friday at the funeral home, followed immediately by a funeral service at 1:00 p.m., celebrated by Pastor James Berkebile. She will be laid to rest with her husband at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.

May her soul rest in eternal peace.

Please visit www.beckerobits.com to send the family condolences.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, February 22, 2024

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Becker Funeral Home - Poland

270 N Main St, Poland, OH 44514

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Friday, February 23, 2024

12:00 - 12:45 pm (Eastern time)

Becker Funeral Home - Poland

270 N Main St, Poland, OH 44514

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, February 23, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Becker Funeral Home - Poland

270 N Main St, Poland, OH 44514

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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