Kelly Lauren Graham Smith of Portage, MI began and ended her life at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. She was born on September 24, 1982 and died from COVID-19 on January 8, 2022, only 39 years old.
Mattawan Consolidated Schools gave Kelly a solid educational foundation, with a degree from Ferris State University rounding out her scholarly achievements. There are many friends that remember her from working at Frank’s Nursery during high school, after which she gave her very best to Meijer’s in Big Rapids and Kalamazoo, before landing a job at Kalamazoo’s beloved entertainment venue, The State Theater. She finally escaped the insanity of working two jobs when she was hired at Merit Dental – a job she truly loved.
Through all these adventures Kelly developed many, many good friendships. So many people in her orbit remark about her beautiful smile, caring spirit and generous attitude. She was the first to be there when someone needed help. You’d most likely find Kelly enjoying all kinds of music and “dancing in the rain”. The world has lost a beautiful soul, but we can see that her spirit lives on in her much-loved daughter, Sophia. Kelly and her husband Jason were and are awesome parents. We are so thankful that Kelly & Jason’s families and her true and fast friends are gracing us with the gift of stepping in as “aunties” so that her memory will live strong in Sophia. What a blessing.
The future was looking so good for Kelly and her family. They had just purchased their first house and she was looking forward to making it a home. Her brother, Aaron Graham and his wife Katherine had recently welcomed their second child and Kelly enjoyed watching her niece and nephew grow. She ALWAYS had plans for her next trip to Florida to enjoy palm trees, sunshine and the beautiful Gulf waters with mom and dad, Christa & Hugh Graham. Many, many aunts and cousins will miss her good cooking, generosity and smiles at family gatherings.
It would have been so much fun to celebrate Kelly’s 40th birthday later this year, but that’s no longer meant to be. Please get your COVID vaccinations and booster so you can enjoy the life you’ve worked so hard to build. A GoFundMe campaign has been established by Kelly’s posse of “Aunties” to continue the adventure of life specifically for Sophia at: https://gofund.me/b2108551
A Celebration of Life will take place once the weather is nicer.
Memorial donations may also be directed to Westwood United Methodist Church (538 Nichols Rd., Kalamazoo MI 49006, ATT: Pastor Sean Kidd) where Kelly was an active leader in the Alpha program.
Sleep tight, my love, the hour of sleep is upon you
Dream right, my love, may God and his angels watch o’er you
Sleep tight my love, God Bless you, pleasant dreams…nighty night
Good night our sweet, wonderful Kelly