- About Us
Kelly Brannagan KingOctober 25, 1960 ~ September 17, 2017 (age 56)
Kelly Brannagan King
October 25, 1960 - September 17, 2017
Kelly Brannagan King, beloved long-time resident of Jericho, passed away on September 17th, 2017 after living with a brain tumor for about a year and a half. She is survived by her husband of 32 years, Barry; her 4 children, Elizabeth, Sarah, Ben and Noah; her mother, Lucy Wilcox; 3 siblings, and countless family and community members.
Kelly was born in Burlington, VT in 1960 and grew up on Lafayette Drive in Jericho.
When Kelly was old enough for pre-school, her parents, along with Dee Dee Jamison and a number of other parents, started a co-operative nursery school. It was called Saxon Hill School, and it is still going strong today.
As a teenager, Kelly was active in 4-H, and got a first taste of Jericho politics and community service when she and other youth joined in the effort to preserve the Old Mill. At Mount Mansfield Union High School, she was involved in gymnastics, band and the musicals. She met Barry King when she was in My Fair Lady and he was running lights for the show. Their first date was the cast party, and the rest is history. In July of 1985 Barry King and Kelly Brannagan were married in Jericho.
Kelly’s broad interests and enthusiasm for many topics led to a broad education at UVM, which included plans at various times for majors in engineering and sign language interpreting. She eventually earned her teaching degree from UVM in 1988, and student taught with Delia Clark at Founders School in Essex.
Kelly and Barry's first child, Elizabeth was born that December, and Sarah was born about two years later. When Ben was on the way in 1993, the family needed more room. Kelly wanted her kids to grow up in her home town, so they moved from the wonderful Richmond community back to Jericho. Ben and Noah were both born at their home on Saxon Lane.
As a mom of four, her kids always came first, but she also made time to reach out. She helped other new moms as a trained leader and counselor in La Leche League. She helped teach and organize the numerous homeschool co-ops that her kids were involved in. When the kids transitioned from homeschooling to Mount Mansfield Union High School, she was a band parent and a chorus parent. She served lasagna and ice cream on behalf of Academic Boosters, and cooked immense amounts of food for cross-country runners and Nordic skiers. She continued to be a beloved "crockpot-mom" for Clarkson University Nordic race weekends, bringing food for Ben’s teammates, even after she was sick.
Kelly loved food and loved cooking (always in quantity, never lacking quality, and ideally along with other people). She was known for soup and bread, tofu stuffing and reusable mugs (to not create unnecessary trash).
Kelly was raised in the Catholic Church, then Jericho United Methodist Church. Her whole adult life, she was active in the Jericho Congregational Church. When her kids were young, she taught Sunday school and helped in the nursery. As her kids got older, she helped chaperone Youth Group and hosted high school bible study. She served on the fellowship committee, helped with Chicken Pie supper, and was a long time member of the church choir. When JCC's revered pastor, Peter Anderson, retired, Kelly was honored to serve on the church transition team and hiring committee that eventually brought David Coons here to pastor at Jericho.
Kelly loved choir, but also loved and encouraged music of all kinds, especially folk music. She and Barry went to many contra dances, and carted kids to Suzuki violin lessons, flute lessons, voice lessons and Fiddleheads gigs. She loved music parties and jam sessions where she was known for pulling out a pair of spoons or a mud bucket to add to the percussion section. For many years, Kelly used her enthusiasm, energy and brainstorming skills to help organize and run the Champlain Valley Folk Festival.
When Noah went to high school, Kelly realized that she had worked her way out of her job as homeschool teacher. "Miss Kelly" started putting her mommy skills to work as a part-time nanny for a few families in town. She also stepped up to being market manager for the Jericho Farmers Market. When she got too sick to coordinate all the logistics, Elizabeth took over the job of manager and Kelly become honorary ‘hostess’. Kelly loved running the farmers market because she got to promote community, sustainable food systems and farming.
Kelly not only loved promoting sustainability, but also loved practicing it on her own property. She loved being outside gardening, setting up permaculture systems, finding wild edibles, and working on forestry and firewood. Even when she could no longer get out into the woods on her own, she would direct work along the driveway clearing brush, collecting elderberry flowers and harvesting wild grape leaves.
Kelly was a force of positivity, selflessness, passion and good-will. She always had a good idea (or twenty) and the optimism that any one of the ideas could be amazing. She faded a bit as the brain tumor took over, which is almost a blessing. To have full Kelly in this world and then have her suddenly gone would have been too much to bear.
The funeral will be Saturday, September 23rd at 2 pm, at the Jericho Congregational Church in Jericho Center. Interment will be immediately following at the Jericho Center Cemetery. A potluck reception, celebration of her life, and time for sharing favorite Kelly stories will follow at her home. The party will begin around 4 pm at 26 Saxon Lane, Jericho, VT 05465.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to an organization which supports community and families. We suggest La Leche League, NOFA VT, VPR, Water.org or VNA. We would love to have people bring wildflowers to the service if they have a chance to pick some that morning.