Redlin Funeral Home

Frances J. Kelly


Frances Fran' Kelly (Klipstein) age 94 passed away on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at the St. Clare Meadows Care Center of Baraboo. Her stay there was made comfortable with the aide of a wonderful, caring staff and the friendship of a loving room-mate, Sharon Hillmer of Baraboo.Fran was born on February 26, 1919 to John and Ella (Schulte) Klipstein in Loganville, Wisconsin. Her family moved to Des Plaines when Fran was a small child and her father built a beautiful Sears home for the family there. At that time Des Plaines was little more than a lot of prairie, but her father had his Victory Garden full of fresh vegetables while her mother had a plot of land for her love of flowers and all growing things.Fran was first married to Nicholas Callas and had two children by him: Nicholas Callas Jr. and Sherry. Fran was a professional roller skater and met Nick at a roller rink and eventually they had the wedding on skates at a rink in Chicago.She later met her second husband Wilbert Bud' Kelly on the dance floor at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. They were quite a dazzling couple on the dance floor and they were married in Ohio but resided in Des Plaines. They had a daughter Pamela D. Kelly while Bud pursued a career in the film business. They also had their own line of cosmetics and a salon in Des Plaines.Then circumstances caused a move back to Wisconsin to Baraboo in 1979. Fran was an extensive collector of antiques and was able to realize her dream of opening "Frantiques Showplace" where she gave tours to show her collection to visitors and locals alike.She and Bud also opened a bed-and-breakfast in their large Victorian home which they ran for several years.Fran became a figurehead in several groups in Baraboo. She was president for several years of Church Women United- a non-denominational group. She also started and was president of a Homemakers Extension group through the University Extension Program.She was very involved in the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization and acted as president of that group also. She helped organize the luncheons held after Memorial Day services and was a figurehead for the women's branch of the DAV. The leadership skills she had developed in Illinois served her well and benefited these several Baraboo organizations.She also gave many talks and presentations to different groups on antiques from her vast collection. She would bring all sorts of interesting items to these talks so people could experience a "living history" of what she was talking about. She was also Queen Mother of a group of women called the Red Hatters- a social group that met for fun and support of each other.Her love of antiques became a hallmark of her time in Baraboo since she enjoyed entertaining people in her home- always serving them on the fine china she had on the table. Bed and breakfast guests were also treated to her unique entertaining style.When she was in Illinois she did counseling at Lutheran General Hospital and after moving to Baraboo, she continued counseling out of her home on a more private level. Many people sought her out for her insights and advice. She also taught Bible class for several years and believed that everyone had a place in this world. Her favorite lifelong mantra was "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"- and she truly lived her life with that as a guide.She is survived by her children, Nick Kelly of Baraboo, Sherry (Bob) Benn of Goodlettsville, Tennessee and Pamela Kelly of Des Plaines, IL; grandchildren, Jeff Benn and Kimberly Benn; one great-grandchild, Chris Benn; brothers Raleigh (Bea) Klipstein of Des Plaines, IL and Walter (Norma) Klipstein of Chicago IL; sister Beatrice (Ivan) Klipstein and nieces; nephews and other relatives and dear friends. Also an extended family; Amy and Sophia Lilliebridge of Des Plaines.She was preceded in death by her husband, Bud Kelly and her parents.Fran was a powerful, moving force in the Baraboo community and her energy and imaginative way of living will be greatly missed.A memorial service is being planned for June 8 at the Redlin Funeral Home.