Kelsey was born on February 17, 1987 in Newport, the daughter of Jack and Chyleene O'Connor. She was the middle of three girls. Her sisters, Meghan and Cate, adored Kelsey and Kelsey can take some of the credit for what led them both to become incredible teachers (and humans!). Kelsey was a proud aunt to Addie and Jack and loved both her brothers-in-law, Jay and Andrew, very much. Kelsey's housemates -- Hope, AnnMarie, and Rayna -- quickly became part of her family and she built a wonderful home with them in Newport. Cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends filled Kelsey's days with love and all can count the ways Kelsey influenced their lives.
Kelsey lived her life boldly and bravely. All who knew her will lovingly remember her contagious laugh and bright smile. She enjoyed the simple things in life – good food, loud music, sunshine, and quiet time with a book. Her adventurous side, though, loved roller coasters, fast boats, and skiing. She was constantly trying to make people laugh with fake burps, headlock hugs, and a sarcastic sense of humor. Kelsey taught so many about the importance of inclusion and focusing on ability over disability. Her lessons and light will continue to shine for many years to come.
Kelsey was wonderfully supported by many amazing people throughout her life, including caring doctors and nurses, teachers and friends at Middletown Public Schools, and the incredible staff at Looking Upwards.
She's missed dearly by all who loved her.
Ask for what you want or need,
and keep asking until you get it.
Cry when you are sad,
laugh when you are happy,
yell and stomp your feet
when you need to.
Live life in the moment.
Delight in the little things.
Curl up in the sunshine.
Enjoy the wind blowing in your hair.
Savor every meal.
Read your favorite books everyday.
Listen to the sounds of the music surrounding you.
Smile, smile, smile.