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Kellie Jo Reagan

October 16, 1969 April 18, 2019
Kellie Jo Reagan
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Obituary for Kellie Jo Reagan

Kellie Jo Reagan was born October 16, 1969, in Salem, Oregon, to Edward Lee and Carolyn Jo (Welch) Reagan. When she was young, Kellie was thrown from a horse, injuring her head and leaving her permanently disabled. During her childhood, Kellie was in car accident and experienced a fall, both causing head injuries, and most likely leading to her permanent disability. During her senior year in high school, she fell ill and was unable to graduate. 

In December of 2009, Kellie moved into the AJK Care Home in Aumsville. When she entered their care, she was in a wheelchair due to her drop-foot, was an insulin dependent type 2 diabetic, and had an unhealthy relationship with food. With the positive guidance from caregivers at the home, Kellie was encouraged to work toward adopting a healthier lifestyle, both mentally and physically. Kellie purchased some boots and began the slow process of learning to be able to walk again. Four years ago, Kellie was able to walk and was even able to take a walk on the beach, which was one of her favorite places. 

The staff at the care home made sure that Kellie knew that this was her forever home and she would be loved unconditionally. Kellie had found more than a caregiver, she found a family. She looked up to Ann in particular and wanted to be like her and would even buy the same things so they could match. Kellie would often tell other caregivers and residents that Ann wouldn’t do that, or Ann says it has to be a certain way. She looked up to and doted on Ann. 

Since Kellie never graduated high school, she was encouragedby her caregivers to go back to school and get her GED, which she was working on at the time of her passing. Ann also helped Kellie get her driver’s permit and was teaching her how to drive. The pair would also go get their nails done together. 

Kellie was also particularly close with another resident, Linda, and the two had been living in the same care homes together for 13 years. The relationship was hard to define as they were best friends but could argue like siblings. Whatever it was, it was family, and that what was important. The two were the most independent of the residents and enjoyed each other’s company. Linda’s nickname for Kellie was MacGuyver since she could fix just about anything. Kellie, Linda, and Ann would often sit around the table talking for hours. 

Kellie was extremely talented artistically and loved all types of crafting. Ann even made her a craft room at the care home. Kellie made beautiful beaded jewelry for friends and family and also created beautiful dream-catchers. She sewed bags for people and would even mend the caregiver’s clothes. Kellie absolutely loved children and would spend time doing crafts with the neighborhood kids. 

Having a heart of gold and had a caregiver’s soul, Kellie would help anyone with anything and would often help the other residents. If the group went on outings, Kellie would pair up with another resident and make sure they were watched over so the caregivers could keep track of everyone easier. Whenever a new resident came to live at the home, Kellie would go down to the Family Closet, which gave out free clothing, and pick out clothing for them. She loved to shop and would shop for anyone else if she could.Kellie also loved helping in the kitchen chopping vegetables and helping with meal prep. She even learned to bake strawberry cheesecakes and that became her specialty. 

Under the care of the loving staff at AJK Care Home, Kelli was able to experience many things that she never had before, like camping, boating, and crabbing. They encouraged Kelli to be independent while she kept a loving and watchful eye, teaching her to advocate for herself. Kellie blossomed under their care and their time together was full of joy. Kellie passed away on April 18, 2019, and will be terribly missed by her caregivers, friends, and family. 

Kellie was preceded in death by her father. She is survived by her mother Carolyn Reagan; sisters Sarah Reagan and Pat Lawson; brother Doug Reagan; caregiver Ann Read; and special friend Linda. 

A Celebration of Life is being planned for a later date.

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