Jeanne Bradley Kelly Gerwig passed away on August 6, 2021, in an assisted living facility in Naples, Florida. She fought a spirited battle with serious side effects after a bad fall but was unable to best Covid-19. She was 93.
Born in New York City on February 26, 1928, she was the youngest of five Bradley siblings. She attended Convent of the Sacred Heart School at 91st Street and was among the first class at Newton College of the Sacred Heart in Massachusetts.
An active and popular petite brunette, she traveled in New York social circles. She met her future husband, Ed Kelly, on the dance floor of the Sherry-Netherland Hotel. From the neighborhoods of Peter Cooper Village and Bronxville, Jeanne and Ed settled in Rye, where they raised their four children.
The Kellys were married for 50 years. Mr. Kelly, who was affectionately known as “Big Ed”, died in 2001. In 2007, Jeanne married Robert Gerwig of Greenwich, Connecticut and Naples, Florida, and they moved into Moorings Park in Naples.
During her years in Rye, Jeanne enjoyed a successful interior design career, leaving her mark on many friends’ living rooms, and the women’s locker room at The Apawamis Club, of which she was a member for over 50 years. Her love of golf and drive to perfect her game led to three hole-in-ones on the links. Her Shinola golfing group dictated her travel whereabouts.
In addition to serving as president of The Rye Garden Club, she was an active member of The Twig, which supported United Hospital in Port Chester, and later the Port Chester-Rye-Rye Brook EMS.
“What ‘Pocket Granny’ gave up in height, she made up for in presence, commitment, humor, and strength,” said her family. “She loved and was loved and had a passion for family, friends, and hobbies.”
In addition to her husband of nearly 14 years, Bob Gerwig, Jeanne is survived by her children: Frannie Burns of Greenwich, Kate Kelly Smith of Rye, Ed Kelly Jr. of Bedford, N.Y., and Bradley Kelly of Dallas; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; her stepdaughter, Cari Gerwig Jones; her stepson, Curtis Gerwig; three step grandchildren; and her lifelong best friends, Joan Markey and Kay Waterbury. Her love for “Bobby” kept her going in her final days, said Mrs. Gerwig’s children.
A celebration of Jeanne Gerwig’s life will be held in the near future. Donations in her memory may be made to Avow Hospice, 1095 Whippoorwill Lane, Naples, FL 34105 (avowcares.org).