KNIPFER (Kelly), Mary

Mary (Kelly) Knipfer, loving wife, mother of three children, and grandmother to three grandchildren, died peacefully on July 5, 2022, in Dayton, OH.

Mary was born in Mantua, Co. Roscommon, Ireland, on April 29, 1933, to Bernard Paul and Bertha (Morahan) Kelly. In 1959, she received her degree as a Registered Nurse from Sefton Hospital in Liverpool, England, and later that year emigrated to the United States to accept a position with Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, New York. While in NYC, Mary met and married her husband of 60 years, retired USAF Colonel Ronald Eugene Knipfer, PhD. For the next 23 years, their career took the Knipfer family to assignment locations across the U.S. and Europe.

Ron and Mary infused a love for family and sense of adventure into their children. Mary devoted herself to her family and community. She applied her nursing background to volunteer with her children's schools and impacted her larger community through her dedication to volunteer service and her deep Catholic faith. Regardless of location, Mary's home was always a space of love, warmth, and amazing meals for the thousands who sat at her dining room table over the course of her long and happy married life.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents and brother Donald Kelly (Bernie). She is survived by her husband Ron, her three children - Maureen Byrne (Kevin), Ann Welch (Doug), and John Knipfer, MD - her three grandchildren - Sean Byrne, John Paul Byrne, and Julia Knipfer - two brothers Brian Kelly (Lois) and John Kelly (Marie), sister Nuala van Kan (Ignace), sister-in-law Susanne Brockett (Dion), brother-in-law Dennis Knipfer (Jean), and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation will be held from 11am-12pm followed by noon Mass on Monday, July 25, at Emmanuel Catholic Church located at 149 Franklin Street in Dayton. In lieu of flowers, Mary would have appreciated donations be made to House of Bread in Dayton, OH (

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