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Florence Kelly


Flo was dearly beloved for her warmth, humor, and self-effacing personality. She could often be found walking her cherished standard poodle, Toby, along East 57th St. where every doorman and dog owner knew her by name. 

Flo was an avid reader of these pages, delighting in Maureen Dowd’s quips and the ever-vexing puzzle. She loved her community and city fiercely, serving for the Sutton Area Community Foundation and the Sutton Place Parks Conservancy. 

She was a die-hard New York Knicks fan, and loved the Met Opera and Harry Connick Jr. Born on August 31, 1935 to Walter Staunton Mack and Marion Reckford, she attended The Brearley School, Shipley School, and Smith College. 

She married John E. Thomas of Milwaukee, WI and had four daughters. In the 1970s she found herself a divorced, single mother. She rolled up her sleeves and went to work on Wall Street to support her four girls. Over the next 25 years she worked at Drexel Burnham, L.F. Rothschild, and Merrill Lynch. Flo married Louis P. Kelly, the love of her life, in 1979, fully embracing Lou’s passions, from squash matches at the University Club to Princeton Reunions, until his premature death in 1985. 

Flo will be sorely missed by her many friends, colleagues, neighbors, and family. 

She is survived by her sister, Alice Mack Sawyer of Wilmington, DE; her brothers Walter S. Mack Jr. of New York, NY and Anthony Mack of Moore Park, CA; her daughters Abigail Moore of Ormond Beach, FL, Ann Skala of New York, NY, Jessica Wilson and Alice Thomas Fleming of Bozeman, MT; and her five grandchildren, Sarah, James, Charlie, Conrad, and Katy.

Donations in her name can be made to the Sutton Place Parks Conservancy and the All-Saints Episcopal Church.

Obituary by the Sutton Place Parks Board of Directors

The Sutton Place Parks Conservancy sadly regrets the loss of our Board member Flo Kelly, who passed away unexpectedly on December 22, 2020. We extend our deep-felt condolences to her family.

Flo was one of the founders of the Conservancy in 2015 and was an active member serving as our first Secretary and then as Assistant Treasurer. She organized all the volunteer clean ups at It’s My Park Day events in Clara Coffey Park and recently arranged for the new Little Free Library that perches on the lawn of the promenade area between 56th and 57th streets. She also represented the Conservancy at Community Board Six and many other public meetings. Previously, Flo served as president of the Sutton Area Community organization.

The Conservancy cherished her friendship, her wit and her love of her neighborhood. Lunches at Parnell’s will not be the same without her. She is indeed a loss we all share.