Obituary: Kathleen Patricia Kelly Tripp (1952-2023)

The world lost a bright and caring soul on Thursday, December 21, 2023. Kathleen Patricia Kelly Tripp, 71, succumbed to metastatic breast cancer after a three-year battle, surrounded by her friends, in Bradenton, FL.

As a “native Newporter” Kathleen attended the local grammar schools, graduating from Rogers in 1971. She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island College and her master’s at Naropa University in Boulder, CO, majoring in gerontology and public policy.

Her early career was spent in the hospitality industry, beginning as a tour guide at The Breakers. She later worked as a guide for Beckham Tours of Stoughton, Mass and several years after joined Hyatt Hotels International working in their conference/meeting and sales area.

Following the receipt of her master’s degree at Naropa, she began a second career focusing on eldercare, beginning with her position as the Elder Services Director at Child & Family Services of Newport County and later as the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Association for Assisted Living, retiring in 2020.

She was predeceased by her parents, William H. and Mary E. (Donovan) Kelly. She leaves behind her sister, Maureen E. Kelly (Dean Stoddard) of Tucson, AZ and brother, William S. Kelly (Jane) of Middletown, RI, a nephew, William S. Kelly II (Ellen) and a niece, Colleen Kelly Smith (Collin), a great niece Rory Smith and great nephew Ewan Smith, as well as many cousins and other longtime friends.

The family is grateful to Kathleen’s longtime, steadfast, loving friend and caretaker, Susan Penna for her devotion in caring for her.

A memorial mass will be held at a future date at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Newport where Kathleen served as a communicant for many years. For further information, please contact Maureen at




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