Cover photo for Helen M. Kelley's Obituary
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Helen M. Kelley

May 20, 1939 — March 11, 2024

Caribou

Helen May (LaPointe) Kelley, a loving mother to four children and the cherished wife of the late Robert Kelley, passed away on Monday, March 11, 2024 at age 84 in Caribou. 

Helen was born on May 20, 1939, in Limestone to Zoe (LaBreck) and George LaPointe, and was the second oldest of 12 children. She would learn maternal duties at a young age, often helping to care for her younger siblings. “She was like a mother to us,” recalled sister Vivian Decker. “If we had a problem, we always went to her.”

Besides the help she provided at home, Helen also honed her well-known work ethic early by toiling in the potato fields at a young age. She passed on those lessons of hard work and values, with a healthy dose of love, to her children. She is survived by son Rick Schwigen of Lowell, MA, and daughters Kathy Schwigen (husband Joe McLaughlin) of Orrington, Carrie Lee (husband Dan Lee) of Presque Isle, and Amy Kelley of Brewer as well as grandchildren Michael and Max Schwigen; Ryan, Matthew and Tess McLaughlin; Sophie Lee; and Ben Kelley; and great grandchildren Arwyn Munn, Liam McLaughlin and Wendy Kelley.

She is also survived by sisters Patricia Saagge of Roseau, MN; Diane Johnson of Fort Walton Beach, FL; Vivian Decker of Panama City, FL, and Sheila Martinez of Colorado Springs, CO. Helen was predeceased by two grandchildren, who always held a special place in her heart, Josh Munn and Sean Lee. She was also predeceased by brothers Roland, Eugene, Norman, Ronald, Joseph and Chris, and sister Eileen Coxson.

The bond between Robert and Helen was a strong one and they enjoyed 60 years of marriage before his passing on November 4, 2020. They treasured their time together and relished their brief getaways from the farm for rides around the County, often frequenting venues in Canada.

Besides her full-time job as a mother and farmer’s wife, Helen also worked for over 30 years at Birdseye and McCain’s Foods. Her home remained an open, welcoming one and many — including 27 nieces and nephews — were always greeted with warmness that was often followed by a heaping plate of great food. Family members and crew workers especially benefited from healthy meal portions during the annual potato harvest.

Helen’s maternal instincts carried over to her watchful and soothing ways with her grandchildren as “Mae” could calm them with a gentle smile and some time in her rocking chair.

A graveside service for Helen will be at 11AM on Friday, June 14, 2024 at the Evergreen Cemetery in Caribou. Those wishing to remember her may do so by donating in her name to a charity of their choice. The family wishes to thank the staff of the Maine Veterans Home in Caribou for the care they provided Helen.  To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen M. Kelley, please visit our flower store.

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Friday, June 14, 2024

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