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Barbara McDevitt-Kelly, 1950-2010

By Wyatt Earp | November 18, 2010

Barbara and Julia, Easter, 2009

Cousin Barbara passed away yesterday after succumbing to a subdural hematoma. She was 60 years old.

Barbara is my mother-in-law’s cousin, and I first met her when the missus and I were dating. She was a soft-spoken person, but she possessed the biggest, loudest heart you could ever imagine. The fact that she accepted me so quickly is a testament to that, as I am not exactly Mr. Lovable. Barb had a lust for life, a zeal for living every moment to the fullest. That zeal only strengthened after she met Grant Kelly.

Barbara and Grant were inseparable. It is no exaggeration to say that they were the perfect couple. Between adventures, they jetted back and forth from their home in Vancouver, B.C. to their place in Florida, with frequent stops in New Jersey and New York to see the family. We were lucky enough to spend a lot of time with them when they were in the area, and enjoyed many a meal at my mother-in-law’s home. Everyone knew Barbara was a happy person, but that happiness enveloped the room when Grant was by her side.

As friendly as they were to the missus and I, Barbara and Grant simply doted on my children. Spoiled them with attention, even. Barbara always wanted to hold the babies, and with my brood, there were always babies ready to be held. Even as the kids grew older, Barbara took the time to talk to them and ask them about their experiences. My favorite story occurred last year, when Barb flew in from Florida to attend Kyle’s Communion party. She flew in . . . from Florida! That should tell you all you need to know about how special she truly was, and naturally, the kids loved her immensely. We told Kyle and Erik about Barb’s passing last night, and Kyle took it very, very hard.

As I mentioned in Tuesday’s post, Barbara and Grant had just gotten married a few months ago. We gleefully drove three hours (each way) to New York to celebrate their special day – not because they were just family – but because they are Barbara and Grant. Most of us would walk across hot coals for her, and I would take a bullet for either one. During dinner, Barbara stood up to make a speech. She couldn’t finish it, because she couldn’t stop crying. She said she was so thankful and so lucky to be surrounded my so many friends and family who cared for her so deeply, never once acknowledging what everyone already knew: that it is easy to love and care for such a beautiful person.

Barbara and my niece Kaitlin.

I wanted to share with you a snippet of an e-mail sent to me by my mother-in-law after she read Tuesday’s post:

[Barbara and Grant] are so very special to all of us and I was moved to see all the prayers that are being said for Barb & Grant. It is nice to know that there are many people in this crazy world that still believe in religion and love. Thanks for your love and caring.

The special people never admit that they’re special, and you never realize how truly special they are until they’re gone. We love you, Barbara, and we will miss you very, very much.

There will be no more posts today.

Topics: Uncategorized | 37 Comments »

37 Responses to “Barbara McDevitt-Kelly, 1950-2010”

  1. Wes S. Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:42 am


    More prayers on the way for you and your family. Take care, Wyatt.

  2. RT Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:46 am

    This just moved me to tears, and I am so sorry for your family’s and Grant’s huge loss. I’ll be praying for all of your comfort.

  3. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:56 am

    Wes S. – Thank you.

    RT – Especially for Grant. He is a terrific person.

  4. Code Monkey Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 1:28 am

    I’m so sorry.

  5. Fenway_Nation Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 4:10 am

    Oh no. Wyatt- I’m so sorry for your family’s loss…

  6. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 7:03 am

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    May your happy memories of Barbara give you strength.
    Keeping you, your family, and Grant in my prayers.

  7. Lou Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 7:07 am

    My condolences on your loss.

  8. Jon Brooks Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 7:16 am

    God is holding her gently in the palm of His hand.

  9. JT Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 8:39 am

    My condolences to you and your family.

  10. Kim Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:31 am

    I am so very sorry. I am bawling my eyes out. If there is anything you need, let me know. I will be praying for peace and comfort for you and your entire family.

  11. Robbie Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:40 am

    My heart breaks for your family, especially Grant. You are all in my prayers. May Barbara rest in peace and know that she will always be with you and your family – they never really leave us. So sorry Wyatt.

  12. Bob G. Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:54 am

    I am saddened to hear about Barbara’s passing.
    My sincere condolences to all the family.

    As is the case, the body succumbs, but all the souls that have been touched, and all the memories acquired retain such lovely people (like Barbara) in OUR lives for generations to come.

    And that’s really not that bad a legacy, when you think about it.

    Stay strong.
    Stay safe.

  13. bob (either orr) Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:54 am

    When death hits close to home, as Barbara’s death has with you, I have two immediate reactions: a deep sadness on one hand, in that the departed will no longer be with us; and a deep thankfulness that we had the opportunity to be touched by that person in some respect. It’s the kind of thing that, when someone says “xxx died,” I want to say “xxx lived!” (exclamation point intentional). Grieve as you need to, friend; but know that Barbara will be there for you and for everyone whose lives she touched as an advocate where it really matters — in God’s court — and celebrate that.
    God bless all of you at this time, and always, Wyatt.

  14. Loaded Dice in Vegas Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 10:40 am

    It’s NEVER easy…….Trust in God……..

  15. C/A Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Sorry to hear that pal. My condolences.

  16. Mike47 Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I’m saddened by the loss of your cousin. She sounds like a wonderful person. You are so fortunate to have had her in your family’s life, if only for a while.

  17. Ferrell Gummitt Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Wyatt: So saddened for your loss. I have your cousin and your family in my prayers.

    Take your time before posting again. We all need time to grieve.

    We will still be here.

  18. Tennessee Budd Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    My condolences, Wyatt.

  19. dragonlady474 Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I’m so sorry for you and your family’s loss.

    “Death is not totally extinguishing the light but turning off the lamp because the dawn has come.”

  20. Kerri Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Oh wow… Im really sorry to hear the terrible news. My thoughts are with you and your family. May god help you get through this.

  21. Chas Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    You and your family are in our prayers.

  22. Robert B. Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I am sorry for you and the family, Wyatt. However, take joy in knowing she has gone to her heavenly home.

    God Bless.

  23. Dr. Evil Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    I’m very sorry for you and your wife’s loss Wyatt. My condolences.

  24. Dixie Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    My condolences, and my prayers to you and yours.

  25. rodney dill Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I’m very sorry to hear that. You and your family have my condolences.

  26. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you, everyone. My family really appreciates your thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

  27. centaur Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Condolences, Wyatt.

  28. RogerDee Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    Our thoughts are with you and your family Wyatt.
    Roger and Debbie

  29. Old NFO Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    My sympathies to you and your family…

  30. Rick Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    I am sorry to hear of your loss.

  31. Marge Loenser Says:
    November 18th, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    I’m a close friend of Jack Lee. I recently saw Barbara and Grant at Jack’s . What a great couple. Jack is taking this loss to heart and is so concerned for Grant. My prayers are with Grant and the family. Barbara was a great person, lovely lady. I am saddened and send my best thoughts and prayers to all. Love, Marge

  32. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 19th, 2010 at 12:03 am

    Marge – Thank you for your kind words. Like Barb and Grant, Uncle Jack is a special person.

  33. Sully Says:
    November 19th, 2010 at 9:40 am

    My condolences … what an amazing woman.

  34. Gill & Stan Says:
    November 19th, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Our hearts have been breaking since we got the news from Grant last night. Barbara was simply one of the most beautiful people to ever walk upon this Earth. Lord, we will miss you, Baaaabara, and we will always love you.

    To Grant, we send our deepest sympathy. You, two, were so very lucky to have found each other that day on the ferry, and to have shared a magnificent– if so incredibly brief –life and adventure together. We are sharing your pain.

    To Wyatt and all of Barb’s family and friends, you have our deepest condolences and our understanding of what a deep, unfillable hole Barb’s passing leaves in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.

  35. Jack Lee Says:
    November 19th, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Barbara was my cousin. Her Mother was my God Mother, a wonderful, loving person. The apple did not far from the tree. The last short few years you could feel the magic that Grant and Barbara had with each other. Just by spending a short time with them “instant friends.” You can be sure Barbara is in heaven – our ultimate goal for all of us. I remember when she was born, family get-togethers, etc. Great memories that will last forever. Very difficult for me to write this, very sad. I am in poor health for years. It should have been me. Life is not fair. Barbara will be missed. Still can’t believe it.

    Grant, my prayers and thoughts are with you. I consider you as a best friend. You must have plenty. Grant, hang tough, as you say – keep the faith. God Bless you and Barbara, and treasure all those great times you had together and shared with your relatives and friends via your letters. Love, Jack

  36. Mike Kelly Says:
    November 21st, 2010 at 12:23 am

    I love you all for all of the nice things you have said about my Step-Mom Barb and my Dad (Grant).
    “Miss” her doesn’t even come close right now…

    Of course I am so happy to look back on the light & love she brought to our lives over the 12+ years, but in middle of the night as I’m crying, how do I stop feeling so sad about what she will miss over the next 12+?

  37. Wyatt Earp Says:
    November 21st, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Gill and Stan – Thank you for commenting, and for being good friends to Barbara and Grant.

    Uncle Jack – I thought the same thing afterward. Should have been me. I think a lot of people would gladly trade places with such a special, caring person.

    Mike – I am so very sorry for your (and your father’s) loss. Especially sorry that your beautiful family will no longer experience Barbara’s unique heart. Cherish her memories, and tell everyone of her caring, good-natured soul.

    And please remind Grant that, back East, he has family for all eternity.