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Jeanne Bujalski Kelly

July 21, 1927 - August 12, 2017

Funeral Mass - Wednesday

August 16, 2017
- 1:00pm

Nativity Catholic Church

Prayer Service - Tuesday

August 15, 2017
- 7:00pm

Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center

Visitation - Tuesday

August 15, 2017
5:00pm - 7:00pm

Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center

Burial - Thursday

August 17, 2017
- 1:00pm

Harvey, North Dakota


Boulger Funeral Home

Jeanne Bujalski Kelly

July 21, 1927 - August 12, 2017


Jeanne Bujalski Kelly passed away on Aug. 12 at the age of 90. She died in her home under the care of Hospice. She was born in Bordulec, ND in 1927 to Gladys (Magney) and John (Jack) Bujalski, the first of six children. She grew up on the Soo Line Railway, living in Loretto, MN; Carrington, ND; Hankinson, ND; and Rogers, ND. She attended school in Carrington, moved to Hankinson where she attended St. Francis Academy through 4th grade and then moved to Rogers, ND where she graduated from high school in 1945, valedictorian in her class of three.

She attended the Cadet Nurse Corps for one year in Valley City, developing a lifelong interest in the workings of the human body. She moved to Fargo where she met and married Lawrence (Larry) Leonard Kelly Oct. 8, 1949. Together, they had six children. In 1962, they separated permanently, never divorcing. She and the children moved to Harvey, ND where she taught singing at St. Cecilia’s School and played the organ for St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church. She participated in Catholic Daughters, Band and Chorus Mothers, and her children’s activities.

In 1971, she moved to Fargo, ND with her three younger children to start college at NDSU at the age of 44. After graduating in 1976, she worked for Vocational Rehabilitation for one year before being hired at the Fargo Public Library. She ran the bookmobile for ten years and then started the first library-based adult literacy program in North Dakota, retiring in 1995. She was also an active member of Soroptimist of Fargo, a women’s service organization.

After traveling the US alone for five months by car, she returned to Fargo. Her favorite job, between ages 70 and 80, was lunch room supervisor at Ben Franklin Jr. High. How she loved her “Ben Boys and Girls,” who called her “Grandma.” She was also able to travel the world with her only sister Marian Vassar.

One of the highlights of her life was her life-long relationship with the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mother. She was grateful for the many years of their spiritual friendship and guidance. She became an Associate in 1990 and eventually made a perpetual commitment.

In 2008, she moved to Sunrise North where she enjoyed socializing, working jigsaw puzzles, and playing cards with her community-family.

She celebrated her 90th birthday this past July with many friends and relatives. Jeanne (pronounced Jean) is preceded in death by her parents, her brothers David and Paul Bujalski, and her husband Larry. She is survived by her sister Marian Vassar (Genoa, NV) and brothers James (Judy) Bujalski (Colorado Springs, CO) and Jack (Rachel) Bujalski (San Antonio, TX); six children: Michael (Diana) Kelly, Minot, ND; Terri Kelly Barta, Lisbon, ND; Paul (Debbie) Kelly,Papillion, NE; and Mary Kelly, Maureen Kelly Jonason (Martin), and Joseph D. Kelly, all of Fargo; 16 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Visitation at Boulger Funeral Home is Tuesday, 5-7pm followed by a prayer service at 7pm. The funeral mass will be at Nativity Catholic Church 1pm, Wed. Burial will be Thurs. in Harvey, ND St. Cecilia Cemetery at 1pm.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Presentation Sisters Housing fund, Hospice, or the charity of your choice.


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16 responses to “Jeanne Bujalski Kelly”

  1. David Strauss says:

    Your mother was a woman of incredible resilience.
    After leaving Harvey, I saw her from time to time and she never failed to impress me with her up beat attitude and her zest for life. She always seemed much younger than her years.
    David Strauss
    Bismarck ND

  2. Greg Johson says:

    My dear friend Jeanne, 45 years of friendship and memories. I will always remember your sweetness and caring, your unconditional love, the twinkle in your eye when we joked together and the special bond you Patty and I formed. I will miss you forever and will think of you every day. Thank you sweet Jeanne for enriching my life…thank you.

  3. Julie Herzog says:

    I am a Fargo Public library volunteer at Sunrise and looked forward at every visit to see Kelly. She was such an avid, eclectic reader and I so enjoyed listening to her book reviews on the next visit. I was always so impressed on how she was always looking to read and learn about new topics and things she didn’t understand. She always told us about her children, grandchildren, and great-grandkids. God made a special person when he blessed us with Jeanne Kelly. She will be missed!

  4. KML says:

    Jeanne was the lunch room supervisor at my middle school, and she always was happy and excited to greet each of us every day. She even sent me a card for my high school graduation, even though I hadn’t seen her for years. Up until her passing, I’d run into her at the grocery store, and we’d catch up. Rest in peace, “Grandma”, as we used to call her at BFMS.

  5. Donna Unrue says:

    Jean was our lunch lady at Ben Franklin. She was such a great influence and really cared for students.
    Rest In Peace , dear lady!!

  6. Anita Dobbs says:

    I met Jeanne when I worked at St Paul’s Newman center. She was a delightful lady.
    Anita Dobbs

  7. Amaury alonso says:

    My deepest condolences to Jeanne’s family, the loss of a loved comes with undescribable pain. Sometimes we may think we are alone, however Psalms 34:18 assures “Jehovah is close to the broken hearted” it is comforting to know you are not alone. I hope these words strengthens you all during this difficult time.

  8. Amy Kelly says:

    Grandma, You will be missed so much! But I know you will be watching over all of us. Everyone who has ever met you has learned at least something unique that they don’t normally see in someone they first meet, which is, you like to be referred to as Grandma, or Jeanne, and that you always make them feel loved and that theres hope out there for those who have lost hope and no matter what somebody has done wrong they will be forgiven. I hope every family could have someone just like you in their family, but its doubtful because you are truly one of a kind. We are all so lucky to have had you in our lives and you will truly live on forever!! We all love you grandma!! Love, Amy, Isabella, Jake, and Marisa

  9. Mary Teske says:

    Kelly – one of those people you are so happy to have passed through (and brightened). your life. I am smiling while I write this, thinking of all the great conversations and laughter we shared during our monthly library outreach stops at Sunrise. What an exceptional woman!

  10. Shannon says:

    So many memories came flooding back to me when I saw the picture of one of my “bookmobile ladies” this morning. I don’t know if I ever knew her name, but she was an enormous part of my grade school years. She introduced me to Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka, and the Bobbsey Twins, and Nancy Drew. She brought the magic library on wheels to my school. She never scolded me for chewing on my library card like my teacher did. She made the bookmobile a safe, welcoming space that I looked forward to each week. May she rest in peace.

  11. Jean and Tom Picard says:

    What a very special lady Jeanne was! We first met at the St. Paul Newman Center as fellow students. The friendship continued through the years with lots of visits, conversations, and social / family events. We will miss her.

  12. patricia gilbreath says:

    my darling ‘mom’ kelly ~ my north star and the very best person I know. 45 years of friendship along with dear Greg ~ we had some great adventures and made memories to last a lifetime. You were full of wisdom, grace, curiosity, insight, faith and most of all love. you really knew how to love! i can just imagine your face filled with joy as you have taken you place in the church triumphant. rest in sweet peace dear one. I love you so.

  13. Mike hellerud says:

    My deepest condolences to the Kelly family my prayers and thoughts are with you.mike

  14. Jeffrey L Tipler says:

    Sorry for your loss.she was a beautiful person who did so much for so many.RIP

  15. Blane Bujalski says:

    Aunt Jeanne will always have a very special place in my heart. Her attitude and enthusiasm for life impressed me so much. One of my favorite people ever.

  16. Michele and Tony McRae says:

    Jeanne was a wonderful woman who showed others how to behave .She was an example to many. We were fortunate to know her
    Michele and Tony

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