For most of Kelly’s career, she worked as a school psychologist serving special needs children. She was employed by special education cooperatives in the public school system and had a variety of assignments. She worked with preschool-age children through young adults and has experience with a wide range of disabilities, including students in mainstream classrooms through those in residential treatment.
Kelly is a long-term member of the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women. She served as a member of her parish’s school board, as well as its peace and justice committee. Her charitable activities include work as a CASA volunteer, advocating for abused and neglected children; serving as a committee member of BUILD, Inc., an organization that works in Chicago neighborhoods to counteract gang activity and violence; and volunteering with Concern Worldwide, an international charity whose mission is to serve the world’s poorest people, combating hunger and poverty.
Kelly and her husband Jim, Eng ’68, have five children and 11 grandchildren. In 2010, they were jointly awarded the Alumni Service to Marquette Award. They are members of the Marquette University Archbishop Henni Founders Society and the Marquette University President’s Society.