Eva Victoria Kizmann Kelly, 88, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, Apr. 29 while listening to her favorite BBC Comedy, Last of the Summer Wine, surrounded by some of her best-loved flowers, birds at the feeder on her window, and the family dog guarding close by. She was affectionately known as Omi (grandmother) by her grandchildren, great-grandchildren and honorary family.
Born Dec. 23, 1934, in Spisske Vlachy, Slovakia, she was the daughter of Albert and Wilhelmina Strisovsky Kizmann.
After surviving encampment in WWII, the family was relocated to Germany, which became their second home. At the age of 15, Eva, along with two brothers immigrated to New York City where she graduated from McDowell School of Costume Design and Fashion Illustration (which surely influenced her well-known eclectic fashion and sense of style). She then held several interesting jobs including a seamstress for a fashion designer, nanny, care-taker of the elderly, door-to-door magazine salesperson up and down the East Coast, and she worked with the Flying Tigers during the Hungarian Revolution, bringing refugees to the U.S. In New York City, she met and married Maxwell Kelly, a handsome Canadian in the US Army.
She and Max picked out Lewisburg as home after his military retirement. When folks noticed her accent and asked where she was from, she would proudly say Muddy Creek Mountain! Eva worked for the Greenbrier County Red Cross and WV College of Graduate Studies. In 1989, she graduated from the Region IV School of Practical Nursing and began a career with local nursing homes. Eva spent her latter years as an avid gardener and birdwatcher, voracious reader, and astute player of solitaire on her computer and word games on whatever pieces of paper were close at hand.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by husband Maxwell in 1975, infant sister Marienka, and brothers Alois, Joseph, Julius and Emerich.
Those left to cherish her memory are daughters, Susie (Bernie) Jackson of Hillsdale and Wilhelmina Kelly (Chris) at home; son, Thomas Kelly of Orlando, FL; and sister, Theresia Thompson of Faribault, MN. Her grandchildren are Heidi (Frank) Houck of Union, Holly (Lucas) Woods of Princeton and Hanna (A.J.) Jackson-Fraley of Jacksonville, FL. Her great-grandchildren are Gabriella, Max, Jack and Kellyanne Houck; Bennett Woods, Addie, and baby Woods due in September.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Eva’s body was donated to the WVSOM human gift registry for medical research. Her family would like to thank her doctors and Kanawha Hospice in Fairlea for their wonderful care.
Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Lewisburg is in charge of arrangements. Please send online condolences by visiting www.WallaceandWallaceFH.com
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