Erica Jean Kelley

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  • "I'm so sad that I can't be there on June 3 to celebrate..."
    - Barbara Gray
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March 6, 1937 ~ April 25, 2018

Erica Jean (nee Smith) Kelley, beloved mother, devoted grandmother, and respected community member, passed away at 81 on April 25th, 2018 at The Ray Hickey Hospice House in Vancouver, WA surrounded by loving family members. Born March 6th, 1937 in Oxfordshire, England, she grew up during World War II in Britain with a love of music and became adept at piano from a young age.
Erica immigrated to California in her early twenties. There she met her lifelong partner in love and work, Charles Ray Kelley, and together they founded The Radix Institute (an international humanistic, somatically-oriented training organization) in the 1960s. Erica developed, taught, and practiced Radix work around the world and for many years ran the training institute in Ojai, CA.
The pair semi-retired to Vancouver in the 1980s. Erica was an active and beloved member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver where she volunteered in leadership roles for many years and taught a course on aging with grace. Committed to the arts and social justice, Erica gave generously of her time and resources to many cultural and political organizations, such as Opera Quest Northwest and Planned Parenthood. She maintained her British citizenship and English traditions throughout her life. She was an avid hiker, cultural connoisseur, life-long learner, and dancer; always looking to stay active, try something new, and see the opportunity in each experience. She was often described as a woman of unusual grace.
Erica is remembered with love by her son, Kevin Kelley; son and daughter-in-law, Eric and Dana Brenner-Kelley; stepchildren, Kathy Kelley Faegre and Tim Kelley; grandchildren, Rhune, Jack, Lily, Rosalee, Raydin, Brendan and Sarah; and great-grandchildren, Maisie, Tor, Aron and Sol.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Margaret and Frederick Smith; sister, Patricia Smith; and her husband, Charles Ray Kelley.
Family would like to especially thank the staff at Ray Hickey and the members of Erica's "Dream Group" and "Women's Group" for their months of love, care, and company.
Following cremation, a memorial service and celebration of Erica's life will be held June 3rd, 2p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver.
Erica's memory and contributions will live on
in the many who were influenced and touched
by the way she lived her life.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Ray Hickey Hospice House, The Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver, Opera Quest Northwest, Planned Parenthood or any social justice organization of the donor's choosing.
Please sign her guest book at:

Published in The Columbian on May 6, 2018
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