Patricia M. Dolan-Kelliher, 67 of Wayland, MA, passed away on May 15th, 2023 from complications relating to lupus. Today and everyday from now on, we celebrate her triumphs, her spirit, and her legacy.
Born in Birmingham, England on September 29, 1955, Trish was the third daughter of Thomas and Bridget Dolan (neé Fogarty) from Ballinasloe, Galway and Nenagh, Tipperary, respectively. A spry and spirited girl, Trish adored her parents and siblings, Mary, Ann and Tommy. Together the family embraced adventure and enjoyed simple pleasures like caravan trips to the seaside, rambles through the Lickey Hills and fresh vegetables from their mother’s garden.
After graduating from Sheldon Heath Comprehensive, Trish went on to pursue higher education. Always forging her own path, Trish charted her own course at Crewe and Alsager Teacher Training College that brought her to teaching at one of Birmingham’s toughest schools alongside life-long friend, Shirley Doolan. When she wasn’t teaching, Trish relished joining her sister Mary on trips to destinations like Greece and Paris and eventually followed her lead, moving across the pond to Boston.
The pair of them shared many adventures, ranging from visits to their cousins on Nabnasset Lake in Westford, MA, to charity running races… most of which culminated in drinks at the Village Coach House in Brookline. It was at that very pub where Bobby Kelliher would spot the girl with the, “cute red sneakers,” and Trish would meet the love of her life and best friend.
Bob and Trish married in 1987, and a couple years later, welcomed their first child, Jacqueline. Not long after, Tricia encouraged Bob to accept a promotion at work which would bring their family to Luxembourg, all while she was seven months pregnant with her twin girls, Allison and Caroline. On the heels of a successful assignment in the Grand-Duchy, they were preparing to head home to Boston - until an unexpected offer of a second expat opportunity arrived from State Street’s Australian office. Not one to shy away from a challenge, when Bob mentioned the proposition, Trish confidently responded, “let’s do it” - and the family was off to Oz!
After their adventures abroad Trish and the family moved back to Wellesley, MA where they set up shop and built a home. Trish was a centerpiece in the Poets Corner family, welcoming newcomers, and always being the neighbor everyone could turn to for help. Crafty and creative, Trish loved to tackle projects, and was undaunted by the prospect of DIY. Truly the hostess with the mostess, Trish could always be counted on to bring people together. From decadent dinner parties to holiday gatherings (complete with epic Yankee Swaps), to book clubs and chats with friends over a glass of Sonoma Cutrer, Trish knew that life’s moments are always worth celebrating in style.
Trish was always an athlete. From teaching aerobics classes, spending winter weekend at Sunday River skiing the slopes, to spearheading the “Chardonnay Open,” a women’s golf event at Charles River Country Club, there was nothing that Trish couldn’t take on. But her number one passion was tennis. Not only was she skilled on the court, she knew all the stats and whereabouts of each of her favorite tennis pros (looking at you, Federer), and always rooted for the underdog.
A woman of the world, Trish was proud of her Irish heritage, her English upbringing, and her adopted home of over 40 years in the United States, where she became a citizen in 2010.
While Trish’s many achievements were remarkable, it’s without question that her enduring legacy is the relationships she forged and her ability to nurture community no matter where she went. A close friend of Trish’s, Maria Lourdes, put it best in a recent note to the family writing, “she is a very positive and strong person. Trisha is one of the nicest, most respectful and caring people that I have ever met here in my 40 years being in America.”
Trish had the rare ability to take people as they are, celebrate them for their unique strengths, and never fault them for their less than perfect qualities. That’s not to say that she didn’t encourage all of us to be the best version of ourselves, but she made sure that we had a good time along the way. Trish was never afraid to stand her ground and speak her mind, and would always provide honest advice in times of need. With her sass and tenacity she was always a source of laughter and support for her friends and family. She radiated warmth and genuine empathy.
After an extended period of struggling with her illness, through which she showed endless grace, courage, strength and positivity, Trish passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family. She was ready for her next adventure, ready to join her parents once more, and asked that we would honor her life with positive thoughts and happiness knowing that she lived her life to the fullest. We all know Trish loved a party and she wanted nothing more than for us to continue the celebration, so don’t be afraid to raise a glass to Trish and know she’s having as much of a ball up there as she did down here.
Trish is predeceased by her parents, Thomas and Bridget Dolan (neé Fogarty). She is survived by her husband, Robert E. Kelliher, Jr.; her three children, Jacqueline Kelliher, Dr. Allison Kelliher (Ian Darragh), and Caroline Kelliher; and her three siblings Mary Dolan (Patrick Howlin), Ann Smith (Tony Smith), and Tommy Dolan (Karen Dolan); as well as many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews and more.
Visiting hours will be held in St. John the Evangelist Church 9 Glen Rd. Wellesley, on Monday, May 22, from 4:00 to 7:00pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the church on Tuesday, May 23 at 10:00am. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. Interment Woodlawn Cemetery, Wellesley.
Trish’s Funeral mass may be viewed via live stream at www.sjspwellesley.org
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Trish’s name to the Wellesley Education Foundation P.O. Box 812321
Wellesley, MA 02482 www.wellesleyeducationfoundation.org