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Obituary: Jean Kellner Smith

Jean Kellner Smith, 87, passed away Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 after a stroke at her home in Mount Pleasant, SC. Jean’s children nicknamed her “Gracie” after George Burns’ beloved wife. She was always the life of the party. Jean was perpetually dressed to the nines and could never be found with a hair out of place. She suffered her stroke while walking from the hair salon to lunch with friends, ensuring she went out as well-coiffed as she lived.

Jean was born Sept. 8, 1925 in New York City, daughter of the late John Clifford and the late Florence Mathews Mahan. She worked at Friends Academy, as well as C.W. Post College on Long Island. Gracie loved to volunteer with the North Shore Hospital Auxiliary, which she did for over 32 years, during which she served in various leadership positions. She was an active member of the Sea Cliff Methodist Church, and when she moved to Mt. Pleasant, she volunteered with the East Cooper Medical Center Auxiliary, and was proud to be a Sunshine Lady at Franke at Seaside.

Jean loved being in love, so much so that she married three times. She raised five children in a boisterous home on Long Island.

Jean was a social butterfly, and if there ever was a seat available next to her, you wanted to grab it, She would have laughed heartily at the notion that she fulfilled the Mayans’ prophecy, at least for the end of her own time on this earth.

Jean’s strong faith was her saving grace in carrying forward after losing her adult daughter, Karen Kellner. She is survived by her sons, Jamie Kellner and his wife, Julie of Montecito, CA, Thomas Kellner of Park City, UT, and Ronald Kellner of Huntington, NY; her daughter, Nancy Tilton of New York City; her grandchildren, Melissa Kellner-Berman and her husband, Jeff of Los Angeles, CA, Christopher Kellner of Los Angeles, CA, Todd Tilton of New York City, Heather Rubenstein and her husband, Andrew of Brookville, NY, Jimmy Kellner of Los Angeles, CA, Christa Kellner of Brookville, NY, Scott Kellner and Meghan Kellner both of Salt Lake City, UT, and her three great-grandchildren, Jake, Scarlett and Oliver James. She is also survived by her sister, Carol King of Mt. Pleasant, SC; and brothers, Robert Mahan of Little Falls, NJ, and David Mahan and his wife, Marcelle of Marietta, GA.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Epworth Children’s Home, P.O. Box 50466, Columbia, SC 29250, or the Franke Chapel Fund, c/o Franke at Seaside, 1885 Rifle Range Road, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464.