Friday, August 17, 2007

July 15 1996 - August 17 2007

So it has come to this despite all of our collective hopes and prayers. Keith passed away quietly just after midnight last evening. There is nothing more to say other than he is now finally free of his disease and at peace. We are simply winded and wordless.

Thank you to all who shared his in journey and gave us the hope and motivation to deal with each day of his difficult struggle. We are so sorry for the pain this news may bring to friends and others who have crossed Keith's path. He will be missed by all who had the fortune of knowing him but never, ever forgotten.

The following obituary should appear in the Contra Costa Times in the next day or two.

* * *

Keith DeLano Kelley

July 15 1996 - August 17 2007

We bid farewell to our beautiful son Keith. He touched the lives of so many people in his eleven years of life. He was a lover of creatures great and small, a budding artist and actor, a swimmer and most of all a great brother. Keith will always be remembered for his unique sense of humor, his love of interesting foods and his unique perspective on life. He will always be a part of our family.

Keith passed away peacefully after a courageous year-long battle with cancer. His bravery during this difficult year was truly inspiring. We are indebted to all who surrounded us with love and support throughout this journey. We will never forget you Keith.

He is survived by his parents Josie and Steve, his big brother Scott, his cat Kirby and many loving relatives.

A memorial service to celebrate Keith’s life will be held at Orinda Community Church on Sunday September 9, 2007 at 2pm.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests a contribution to George Mark Children’s House in San Leandro, Comfort for Kids hospice program or a children’s charity of your choice.


Anonymous said...

My sympathies. Know that there is no more harship where Keith is now, and that one day, you WILL be re-united with him. You'll all be in my thoughts and prayers.

Tricia Carella said...

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. I will always remember Keith running around at TOPS with his little buddies. I feel that I got to know Keith as a more grown up boy through Steve's amazing writings. I will be reminded of Keith whenever I see a cirlce in the sand and watch the food channel. I am so sorry for your loss - He is now at peace.

Anonymous said...

My prayers go out to you. Thank you for sharing this journey with all of. I hope you have, and continue to, find great comfort in the outpouring of love from all who have faithfully followed you on this path and prayed for nothing but the best every day. There is no safer place than where Keith is now.
-heather s.

Anonymous said...

Never was there a child more deeply loved, never a boy more deeply mourned.

Our hearts break for you --

The Patel Family

Anonymous said...

We are very sorry about your loss. Please accept our condolences. We will always remember Keith fondly--his strength, his sense of humor and his intelligence. He has touched many of us who were fotunate to have known him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

The Martins

Anonymous said...

I'm remembering that wonderful Russian River house we shared a few summers ago, seeing all the kids asleep on the living room floor, playing in the river, the big water fight, the canoe, wandering around Guerneville together, with Keith always giving as good as he got with the other kids - the Hoxies, the Pisters, Jamie. Jamie told me wanted a younger brother if he could be like Keith.

We are off to the Russian River today, and I will be remembering that wonderful holiday we took together, feeling Keiths quirky, sweet little soul.

I'm so glad the memorial will be at the Orinda Community Church. Frank the pastor is such a good man.

Dear Josie, Steve and Scott, I will learn from Keith and from you about grace, about appreciating those I love RIGHT NOW, and that includes you.

Love, Sue

Berkeley Rican said...

It was an honor to meet Keith and your family. I mourn with you in the loss of your precious son. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Jose Figueroa

Anonymous said...

As a resident at Children's Hospital Oakland, many children come through our lives, but even in my short encounter with Keith from his first hospitalization a year ago, I knew I would never forget Keith's journey. His amazing courage, vigor, and passion for life was inspiring, and I thank you for sharing his life with us.

My thoughts and prayers go out to you.

-Rona Brooks

Anonymous said...

Being an OPP mom yet never meeting Keith or your family I can't help but say what a wonderful vibrant loving young man and your capturing his personality and days of courage through your blogs has made me feel that I knew him and walked his journey along side him. My thoughts and prayers are with you as we mourn his passing.

Anonymous said...

Sunday evening at 5:00 PM (2:00 PM California time) we will join all "Up North" people in a quiet remembrance of the brave soul that is Keith. We will stand on our assorted docks and face the setting sun and give thanks for having had him, having had this past year getting to love him as much as a non-family member could, and sending all love and condolences to our beloved Kelley family. We love you all. Fritz and Barbara Hunting

Gabe Ostler said...

Steve, Josie and Scott

We have all been graced by the love, courage and magnificent spirit of Keith that you shared with us.
Our hearts and prayers are with you.

the Ostlers

Jamie said...

Kelley family,

Over the past year, not a day has passed that I have not thought of your family and how all were doing on this crazy journey. I am so sorry for your loss. I know that Keith will be in my mind every time I watch the Food Network, see an octopus, a cat puzzle, or a Michigan cap. He will always remain in my heart and will be missed terribly.

Anonymous said...

Eleven years, one month, and one more full day. Keith Kelley: eleven letters in that beautiful name. Maybe he picked his moment to leave earth and live pain free again. I think he did.

May God bless you in His way and in His time. May your family and friends bless you and be there for you now. You are loved and prayed for even by those who are only distantly connected to your family, like me.

-Janette Phillips

Anonymous said...

Josie, Scott, and Steve,

You are in our hearts and thoughts every moment,as is Keith. We celebrate his life as we mourn his passing, remembering all the sparkle and wit he brought to the world in the time he shared with us here on Earth. We will never forget him and all the wonderful gifts he brought to our family and his friendship with Holden. We are all so much richer from having known Keith. Our prayers are with you all and with Keith as he moves on towards whatever adventure awaits him next.

Love, Holden, Cynthia, Ben, and Haley

Anonymous said...

Josie, Scott and Steve,
You are all in our prayers as we heard of your loss of Keith. Please know he will be in our hearts as we remember your family at Wagner Ranch , OPP and this very intimate blog. He was a gift of grace and we appreciate the short time we knew him. We cannot imagine the depth of your sorrow but we will keep the three of you in our thoughts and prayers.
The Hamiltons

Anonymous said...

We are in shock upon hearing about Keith's final stage of a very courageous and noble journey. He has been an inspiration to us all, as you have been, Josie, Steve and Scott,
We wish you lots of strength in the days that lie ahead,
William, Caroline, Jonathan and Inez Lake

Anonymous said...

Dear Steve, Josie Scott, Annie & Don,

The Piper, McGuire, Holley & Grant cousins all send their love and prayers to each of you special, special dear ones! Sometimes the world can seem so big and yet, we are all joined together in a heartbeat to share in the loss you must feel so deeply.
Thank you for for your courage, commitment, strength, faith, hope and especially your deep love for Keith that you all have shared with all of us.
Not one of the thousands of lives Keith and all of you have touched during the past year will ever forget Keith and the love that continues to surround your family.

Steve's beautiful poem about Keith reminded me of a song by Celine Dion called "Fly" ~ have you ever heard it? Her little niece died of cancer at an early age and she dedicated this song to her:


Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven's love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again

Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this mem'ry bittersweet
Until we meet

Fly, fly do not fear
Don't waste a breath, don't shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don't wait for me
Above the universe you'll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won't forget

Fly, fly little wing
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light

From Celine Dion CD, Falling Into You

We love you, "all the way to the moon and back..."

Hal said...

Dear Josie, Steve and Scott,

I couldn't be more sorry for your loss. But know in your hearts that the love between you and Keith will always exist and be with you always. I send you healing and comforting thoughts. Much love, Hal

The Woodlees said...


First you were a young friend who brought along playfulness, laughter & fun. That was delightful.

Soon you inspired us with your skillful artwork, acting & singing -- not to mention your smooth math skills.

Recently, you & your family impressed us in your strength of spirit and powerful generosity.

Now you leave us with a deeper, intense understanding of that which we cherish most -- family, friends, community.

You've changed us forever and, in this way, your spirit lives on within us.

We are grateful to know you, Keith.

lynne abbey-lee said...

Dear Josie, Steve, and Scott,
We are deeply saddened to hear the news. You will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Reading of your journey has given us a glimpse of the love, joys, and strength you have shared as a close-knit family, and of the extraordinary legacy left by Keith. May you find comfort, now and in the days to come.
Much love, Lynne and Greg

Anonymous said...

And now, with broken hearts, we must close the comments on this blog. So many much love. Whomever would have figured that one small boy could and did elicit such overwhelming adoration. We are all now Kelleys...and what a nice thing to be. Love to us all...forever.

Anonymous said...

Dear Josie, Steve and Scott,

When I heard the news of Keith's passing, I broke down in tears and my six-year old came in and gave me a big hug. I could hardly let him go. I cannot imagine the sadness you must feel. Our hearts are with you and we know that Keith's love for you will remain forever in your spirit.
-Leela Gill, Charles, Trevor (6), Parker (2)

Anonymous said...

I have been following your story for many months now. I have been regaled and comforted by Steve's blogs, as I have a young daughter battling leukemia. When I visited your blog, I expected to leave laughing. Instead I left in a pool of tears. Keith had been so strong, and such an inspiration to me and my daughter. I My heart broke for Keith, and his family who did everything he possibly could, and did it fantastically. Keith could not have had a better support system. Yet, amongst my sorrow and grief, I found a sense of calm, even relief. Certainly I will miss Keith and wish I could have met him when he was alive, but I was so happy that he finally became free of the terrible disease that had caused him so much suffering. I hope you are able to find comfort in the fact that he is no longer suffering, and is very peaceful now. He will be well taken care of. Keith was very special, and continues to be so even in death. We will always have the fondest, happiest memories of Keith that will never die, and it is because of this that Keith not truly gone.

My heart weeps for you, and you will be in my thoughts and prayers

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that you'll remember me but we worked together in the OIS kennel last year....
I've been following your husband's amazing blog and I just can't explain how moved I've been by Keith's struggle.
I am so sorry that he is gone, and I cannnot imagine your grief. I agree with others when they say, Keith lives on in the hearts of your incredible family, and in the hearts of those of us who knew him (I truly think "HONK!" was the best play WR ever did!)
I saw Scott at Miramonte registration the other day, and although he looked a little pale, he was smiling and talking to friends...a sign that life does in fact, go on. My heart epecially breaks for him.
Please accept my deepest condolonces,
Teresa Sanchez
Mark, Luke, Alicia & Olivia

Anonymous said...

Skyline Pigeon (Elton John/Bernie Taupin)

Turn me loose from your hands
Let me fly to distant lands
Over green fields, trees and mountains
Flowers and forest fountains
Home along the lanes of the skyway

For this dark and lonely room
Projects a shadow cast in gloom
And my eyes are mirrors
Of the world outside
Thinking of the way
That the wind can turn the tide
And these shadows turn
From purple into grey

For just a Skyline Pigeon
Dreaming of the open
Waiting for the day
He can spread his wings
And fly away again

Fly away, skyline pigeon fly
Towards the dreams
You've left so very far behind

Just let me wake up in the morning
To the smell of new mown hay
To laugh and cry, to live and die
In the brightness of my day

I want to hear the pealing bells
Of distant churches sing
But most of all please free me
From this aching metal ring

And open out this cage towards the sun
For just a Skyline Pigeon
Dreaming of the open
Waiting for the day
He can spread his wings
And fly away again

Fly away, skyline pigeon fly
Towards the dreams
You've left so very far behind

Fly away, skyline pigeon fly
Towards the dreams
You've left so very far behind