Tari Kelsey

Tari M. Kelsey, 69, of Oak Park died on Oct. 27, 2021 in Chicago surrounded by family following a five-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Born on Dec. 7, 1951 in Olympia, Washington, the daughter of Leo and Grace Grunenfelder, she graduated from Washington State University with a degree in pharmacy and the University of Minnesota with a Pharm D degree. In 1976, she married Mark Kelsey and they moved to Oak Park, where they raised four children.

She was a pharmacist for more than 40 years at multiple hospitals in the Chicago area, but also dedicated herself to serving her family in many roles throughout her life including tutor, super-fan, scorekeeper, news reporter, banker, zookeeper and chief of staff.

In her spare time, she enjoyed gardening, baking and “getting her steps in” — but nothing brought her greater joy than spending time with family and friends and spoiling her grandkids. She will be remembered for her selflessness, loyalty, courage, toughness and kindness. Following her diagnosis, she refused to let it take her spirit and continued to live her life to the fullest, including attending two of her children’s weddings and seeing the birth of five of her grandchildren.

Tari was the wife of Mark; mother of Nick (José), Zack (Maggie), Kristen (Frank) Hilvers, and Nate (Carmela); grandma to six Hayden, Wes, Graham, Landon, Sebastian and Emmett; sister to seven siblings; and loved one to countless more. Her parents preceded her in death.

The Kelseys will be hosting a memorial gathering from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cheney Mansion in Oak Park on May 14.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those interested in making a memorial contribution please donate to Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

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