June 25, 1930 - January 22, 2020
Fort Worth, TX -- Lysbeth May Kelly (nee Ferguson), 89, long-time resident of Janesville, passed away on January 22, 2020 in Fort Worth, TX. Lysbeth was born June 25, 1930 in Decatur, IL. She graduated from Millikin University in Decatur with a degree in Home Economics. She did alterations at JCPenney while in college. She always loved doing anything that involved sewing or crafts, making her own clothes, making decorations for the home, etc. Lysbeth met her husband, Steve Kelly, at a dance for servicemen, who knew at first sight he would marry her and began pursuing her to make that happen. Lysbeth finally gave in and married her serviceman, Steve, in Cocoa, FL in November of 1952. Fourteen months later, their daughter, Angela, was born. They moved to Patrick Air Force Base in Mojave, CA, for six months, where Steve left the Air Force before the three of them moved to Steve's hometown of Amarillo, TX, where their son, Kyle, was born.
Lysbeth was involved with Child Evangelism in Amarillo, hostessing weekly Good News Clubs in her home for the neighborhood children, teaching them about Jesus with flannel board stories, songs, and Bible verse memorization and teaching Sunday School. Leaving Amarillo after 12 years, the Kelly's moved to Cincinnati, Ohio for five years, then moved to Fremont, NE, where their daughter, Angela, met her husband. After their son, Kyle, left for Sioux Falls College in South Dakota, and Lysbeth and Steve moved to Janesville, WI, in the early 1970s. Lysbeth started working at the Janesville JCPenney when it first opened. She loved working with people, and worked in almost every department. Her favorite department was the men's department, and she enjoyed helping men pick out shirts and matching ties, and doing alterations on their new suits. After she retired, she made sure her JCPenney friends got together twice a year to socialize and catch up with each other.
Lysbeth was involved in Christian Women's Club, making the table decorations for the monthly meetings. She did whatever needed to be done at church, decorating for Christmas, getting coffee and treats ready before Sunday School, making banners for the sanctuary, doing the birthday board every month. Lysbeth served as long as she was physically able. Lysbeth's decline in mobility and problems with her house in Janesville made a move to Texas to be with family necessary. Her church family in Janesville helped her pack up and ship her belongings. She was able to take care of her needs in Texas for several years, and loved her apartment where she could watch birds and the many trains that went by every day. Lysbeth loved the Game Show Channel, Hallmark Channel, and doing jigsaw and word-search puzzles. Eventually, she needed more help, and moved to an assisted living home in the Fort Worth area. Still her ever-sassy self with the nurses, Lysbeth quickly became one of their favorites, frequently seen wheeling herself out to the dining room where she would work her jigsaw puzzles. Everyone who walked by, whether regular visitors or the people who worked there, would stop and say hi, sometimes sitting down long enough to add a piece to the puzzle, and just talk awhile. Even the kitchen workers would take a little break with her.
Lysbeth remained her quick-witted self until late 2019, when her health began to decline quickly, and by Christmas, she was unable to communicate. Lysbeth's last month was spent in the care of hospice workers as her health steadily waned. In January, her family gathered to say goodbye, and two days later, Lysbeth went home to be with the Lord. While those who love her are sad she is gone, they are relieved she no longer suffers, and are overjoyed that Lysbeth is in Heaven with Jesus.
Lysbeth is missed by all those she left behind who knew her and love her: daughter, Angela Heidingsfelder and her husband, Alan; son, Kyle Kelly and his wife, Karen; grandchildren: Shawn and Brie Heidingsfelder, Connor and Carson Kelly; and great-grandchildren, Bethany Bordelon and Baron Bobo; as well as her brother, Douglas Ferguson and his wife Mary. Lysbeth was preceded in death by her parents, Clara Belle (May) and Donovan E. Ferguson; and her twin brother, Robert, who, along with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, welcomed her to her home in Heaven.
A Celebration of Life service is scheduled for Friday, February 7, 2020 at 7 p.m. at Christ Presbyterian Church, 3625 Skyview Drive, Janesville, where Lysbeth was a member.