ROSEMARY GOMPERS KELLY of Wheeling passed away March 12, 2018, at the age of 93, after a brief illness. She was born January 21, 1925, the third child of the late William J. Gompers and Rose Wilhelm Gompers. A lifelong member of St. Michael Catholic Church, Rosemary graduated from Central Catholic Grade School and Mt. de Chantal Visitation Academy.
On June 18, 1945, she married her husband, Edward F. Kelly (who passed away in 2003) and together they raised four children. As her children grew, Rosemary became involved in St. Michael’s Grade School and was one of several mothers who developed the school’s library. A longtime member of Catholic Daughters and Christian Mothers, she also volunteered her time as a Girl Scout leader and for many years delivered Meals-on-Wheels.
In her earlier years, Rosemary enjoyed sewing, knitting, and crocheting, especially afghans for her children and grandchildren. She also was an accomplished watercolor artist and loved taking art classes at Oglebay Institute. Her paintings, along with memories from the classes, gave her enjoyment that lasted the rest of her life.
Rosemary was an avid college football fan. This interest developed in the 1940s during frequent trips to Notre Dame with her father, to watch her brother Bill Gompers play for the Fighting Irish. Later, when her children attended WVU, she would buy season tickets and attend all of the Mountaineers’ home games.
While others would lament the coming end of summer, Rosemary would joyfully announce that college football would soon begin. Every Saturday at 11 am during football season, Rosemary would turn on three TVs and follow various games simultaneously, often while painting or knitting. If WVU was playing and the game was not being televised, she would listen to it on the radio, while watching the other games on TV.
Although she enjoyed watching games with family and friends, it was understood that the focus was to be on the game. Talk of other things had to wait until commercial breaks or halftime. When the team she was rooting for called for a play that did not work, and that she disagreed with, she would exclaim, “Those dumb bunnies!” … not the words anyone else was thinking of using, but we knew that she was upset. Once her advanced age prevented her from participating in many social activities, she expanded her interest in sports by following college basketball on TV, particularly WVU, and watching Ninja Warriors.
Rosemary loved being with family and friends, and she especially enjoyed visits and telephone calls from her grandchildren. She followed their lives, knew what each was accomplishing, and was eager to share the news with everyone. Her last words to her children and grandchildren who were at her side were, ”I have had a good life. Thank you.”
In addition to her parents and her husband, Rosemary was preceded in death by her sister, Elizabeth G. Yaeger, and an infant brother.
Surviving their loving mother are her four children, M. Susan (John David, Sr.) Harmon of Pittsburgh, Pa., Michael E. (Kathryn) Kelly of Wheeling, Judith K. (Dr. Mark) Fuller of Pittsburgh, and Patrick D. (Donna) Kelly of Charleston, W.Va.; eight grandchildren, John David (Greta) Harmon, Jr., Eric C. (Katie) Harmon, Brandon M. (Erica) Kelly, Kylie A. Fuller, Chandler N. Fuller, Camden S. Fuller, Joseph P. Kelly, and John E. Kelly; and three great-grandchildren, Clare, Audrey, and William Harmon, all children of Eric and Katie Harmon. Rosemary is also survived by her brothers, Joseph A. (Patricia) Gompers of Wheeling, and William G. Gompers of Pittsburgh; and numerous nieces and nephews from the Kelly, Mercer, Gompers, and Yaeger families.
Friends will be received on Friday, March 16, 2018 from 5-8 p.m. at the Altmeyer Funeral Home, Elm Grove Chapel, 154 Kruger Street, Wheeling, with a vigil service at 7:30. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, March 17 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Michael Church, Wheeling with Msgr. Joseph Peterson as celebrant. Interment in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Wheeling.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to St. Michael Grade School, Attn: Library Fund, 1221 National Road, Wheeling, W.Va. 26003 or through www.tmcfunding.com
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.altmeyerfuneralhomes.com