Betty "Jean" Kelty

February 10, 1930 - December 5, 2023
Traverse City, MI


Life Story / Obituary


With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Betty “Jean” Kelty, 93. Jean passed away on December 5, 2023, in Maple City, Michigan under the care of her daughter and Bayside Wellness hospice. She was born on February 10, 1930, in Big Rapids, Michigan to Cecil and Naomi Palmatier.

She is survived by daughters; Kathleen (Patrick) Buday, Nancy Kelty and Peggy (Dennis) Winowiecki.; grandchildren, Russell (Amy) Buday, Molly (Brandon) Skowronek, Christopher (Jennifer) Johnson, Carly Paupore, Nicholas Winowiecki, Jessica (Jerame) Jaroniewski; great-grandchildren; Tessa, Abigail, and Wyatt Buday, Lillian Skowronek, Triston (Madison) Johnson, Leia and Tye Schritz, Brennen, Rory, and Mia Winowiecki, Zachary, Parker, and Hanna Jaroniewski; great-great grandchild; Everly Johnson, brother, Charles “Chuck” Palmatier, who passed away a couple of months later; sister-in-law, Ena Palmatier, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Jack Palmatier; and her great-granddaughter, Kylie Winowiecki.

She grew up in Big Rapids, Michigan where in high school she was recognized for her artwork in pastels and won many accolades for her talent. Jean moved around often throughout her adulthood before establishing roots in Traverse City, Michigan.

Jean retired from Blue Care Network in Traverse City and went on to become a volunteer foster grandparent for many years rocking babies at First Congregational Church where she was affectionately known as Grandma Jean.

Her passions included anything outdoors especially spending time on or near water and fishing. She loved spending Mother’s Day foraging for morels with family.

Jean enjoyed going out to eat and celebrating the holidays with her closest family where the most requested dish to pass was her famous stuffed celery. She thrived on time with her grandchildren and took great pleasure in teaching them her favorite card and board games.

Jean liked to go on long car rides looking for deer, enjoying the scenery, and especially loved the vibrant color this past fall.

There will be an informal Celebration of Life from 1:00 pm to 3:00pm on Saturday, May 11, 2024, at Life Story Funeral Home, 400 Hammond Rd. W., Traverse City, Michigan 49686.

In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or First Congregational Church, 6105 Center Rd., Traverse City, Michigan 49686.

Though she may be gone, her spirit will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.

Please visit www.lifestorytc.com to share your thoughts and more.