It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Sister Mary LaReina Kelly, S.N.D., on Thursday, June 8, 2017. Sister Mary LaReina was a beloved Sister of Notre Dame for more than 50 years. Born Colette Marie Kelly on July 30, 1943, she grew up in Holy Spirit Parish in Los Angeles, California.
Sr. LaReina was a gifted teacher and administrator throughout her entire life, serving in elementary and high schools in both northern and southern California. Sister LaReina served as Supervisor/Religion Coordinator in the Department of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, principal and president of Notre Dame Academy Elementary, president of La Reina High School and lastly, director of mission integration at La Reina High School.
As principal of Notre Dame Academy Elementary School from 2000-2003 and the first president from 2003-2008, Sister's impact on our school was profound. Her leadership and innovation, at that time, helped ensure that our school would continue to be a viable institution. Sister LaReina truly connected with students and parents with her genuine heart-to-heart approach.
Sister LaReina truly cherished the many friendships she made with wonderful people she encountered throughout her ministries. Some of her greatest gifts were her faith, her courage and her perseverance; she was a counselor and mentor to many. Known and beloved for her big heart and compassion, Sister LaReina made every effort to be truly present in the moment during times of both joy and sorrow for all others. Sister was quick with a smile, had a great sense of humor and enjoyed a wide range of interests. She loved classical music, and the songs of the 50’s, reading a good mystery, walking on the beach with Sister Mary Rebekah, watching the late afternoon news and attending the summer concerts and fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl. She was an avid fan of the evening game shows.
Sister Mary LaReina is survived by her siblings, Ed Kelly and his wife Ingrid of Morro Bay, Mary Medina and husband Pete of New Providence, New Jersey, and Regina Janosky of Connell, Washington State.
A celebration of her life and legacy is planned for July 22, 2017 @ 10:15 am – 11:45 am
Notre Dame Center 1776 Hendrix Ave Thousand Oaks, CA 91360