FIRST DAY – Baranof Elementary School paraprofessional Brooke Rivera helps kindergartner Andrei Kyrie Joaquin find his class as children line up for school this morning. Today was the first day of school for a third of the kindergarten class, which was divided into three groups. The final group of kindergartners begins school Monday. (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Henrietta I. Kelsey


Henrietta I. Kelsey

Henrietta I. Kelsey passed over to heaven on May 17, 2018, at the age of 92 at Sitka Community Hospital.

She was born September 7, 1925, in Jersey City, New Jersey. “Babe,” as she was called, was very tiny when she was born and the doctors said she wasn’t going to live very long. She certainly showed them!

She loved roller-skating in the city streets when she was young and went to New York City often to see movies when they cost a nickel. She loved shows and musicals and saw Frank Sinatra quite a few times.

She worked as a telephone switchboard operator for a newspaper company and later as a secretary.

She married the boy who lived down the street, John Kelsey, in 1950 and they moved to Massachusetts.

Hennie loved to crochet and eventually everyone in the family got a hat, scarf or afghan from her. Besides crocheting, she loved playing the organ, watching old movies, traveling, baking cookies, and family dinners with everyone, as she loved to get dressed up. She was a “classy lady.”

John and Hennie moved to Sitka in 2002 to be near one of their daughters. They loved Sitka.

John preceded her in death, in 2009. Hennie recently moved into the Pioneers Home, and enjoyed the friends that she met there.

She loved her family dearly. Surviving her are daughter Janice and son-in-law, Edward Conway, of Sitka, and daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Tim Sampson, of New Hampshire. Her grandchildren are Kevin Conway, Emily Conway, Jason Hubbard, Jared Hubbard, and Jeff Hubbard and his wife Tara. Hennie had one great-grandchild, Jeff and Tara’s daughter Etta, who was named after her.

Hennie was loved very much by her family and will be greatly missed by those who knew her. “A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go.” 


No services will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial donation to a charity of your choice.

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