NAUGATUCK — Kelly Briney, 58, died peacefully Saturday morning, May 10, 2014, after a long battle with brain cancer. Born Elverda Elise Kelly to Mitchell and Elverda Kelly in East Orange, N.J. on July 6, 1955, “Kelly,” as she chose to be called, grew up in Liberty Corner, N.J., where she attended grade school and went to high school in neighboring Basking Ridge.
She earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in Literature at Wheaton College in Illinois, moved to Amherst, Mass. and then to New York City. She held many different jobs, including legal and administrative assistant and document specialist in law firms in Chicago, New York and Connecticut and desktop publishing specialist and assistant director, information product services for Fitch Investors Service. She also created a freelance home business of graphic design and transcription work for clients including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and many others.
Kelly’s real calling, however, was singing and acting. She had a gorgeous soprano voice equally at home in opera, art song and musical theatre. Beginning in high school, she performed in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, as well as around the country on tour. More recently, she performed with theatre groups at Fairfield University, the Abbey of Regina Laudis, Seven Angels Theatre, New Zenith Theatre and helped found The Act Association.
Even greater than her love of music and theatre, though, was her devotion to her Catholic faith. She was an active core member of the Lay Community at Promisek in Bridgewater, where she was arts events coordinator and helped plan concerts, play performances and readings, theological and philosophical discussions and religious observances throughout the church year.
She is survived by her two beloved children, Michelle and Christopher Briney; her husband of 27 years, Michael Briney; her brother, Van E. Kelly and his wife Cheryl Keefe and son, Evan Keefe; and wonderful cousins and their families.
Kelly’s wake will be held on Wednesday, May 14 from 12 to 9 p.m. A funeral mass, followed by burial, will be on Thursday, May 15 at 11 a.m. These will take place at Promisek at Three Rivers Farm, 694 Skyline Ridge Road, Bridgewater, CT 06752.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Promisek Cecilian Fund – PO Box 402, Bridgewater, CT 06752.
For more information, visit www.berginfuneralhome.com.