Marina D. Kelley, 2020

Marina D. Kelley
Marina D. Kelley, 2020. Photo provided

CHESTER, Vt. – Marina Dorothy Kelley, 19, daughter of Frank and Julie Kelley, granddaughter of Richard and Brenda Dansingburg, all of Chester, passed away peacefully at her home Saturday, March 14, 2020. She lived her life with a unique genetic, neurological disorder, facing her challenges with a similarly unique flair.

Unable to walk, she played, skied, rode her favorite horse, participated in parades, traveled, stuck her toes in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico and, in her younger days, hiked mountains, riding on her dad’s back.

Unable to talk, she taught people she met to be kind, helpful to others, and to include everyone. She showed her love and affection in many, unique ways. She challenged all of us to do our best with a smile.

Her family was fortunate to have incredible support from their community and schools, a community that Marina helped to build and enrich. The love she created made everyone who met her a bit better person.

Marina’s medical and home care team, including Denise King of Chester, who cared for her for 18 years, made her journey long and gentle, far exceeding the doctors’ best guesses as to her life expectancy. The end of life support provided by Chester P.D. and Chester Ambulance Squad made an incredibly difficult time more bearable.

Marina showed us all that we can do so much to make the world a better place by simply reading books, sharing stories, singing, doing art projects together, and holding hands. Marina reminds all of us that no matter what challenges you are facing, you can do anything if you take your friends along to help.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Donations in Marina’s name can be made to Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports.

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