Kelsey Lee Locke


Groveland, MA - Kelsey Lee Locke was born on March 20,1997, to loving parents Maureen and Jon, joining big brother Brandon and big sister Reanna. That same year, an “unusually bright” comet called Hale-Bopp was in the news, making its closest flight ever over Earth. As babies tend to do, Kelsey — which means “brave” — ended up with a nickname. Her family affectionately referred to her as “Kelsey Bopper.” A brave, unusually bright light.
Kelsey packed a lot of living into her 21 years. She grew up in Groveland playing outside with her siblings, family, friends and neighbors, heading to the library and girl scouts with mom, building a tree fort and sharing music with dad, spending magical summers with mom, dad, Brandon, Reanna, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents at the Cottage and on the Cape, and, as she got older, cruising around on her skateboard, making saves in the soccer net, teaching skiing and snowboarding, and discovering that life is better lived barefoot.
As Kelsey grew bigger, so did her adventures. She trained in carpentry at Whittier Tech and in outdoor leadership at Greenfield Community College, earning certifications in whitewater canoeing, sea kayaking, challenge course, and rock climbing. She traveled to Ecuador with her teacher and classmates to summit Mt. Cayambe. After graduating in 2016, she moved to Vermont to learn about organic farming and to spend the winters working and riding at Burke Mountain.
She found peace and purpose in the mountains and streams of New England, bagging peaks for the joy of it, teaching kids how to explore nature, and working the land, making beautiful connections along the way.
Kelsey recently went out West driving cross-country, planning hikes and stops at state parks along the way. She was excited for summer travel plans to hike in Scotland and for returning to Greenfield in the fall to study sustainable farming.
Kelsey was bright and curious. She was herself, always. And she just wanted you to be yourself, too. She had a magic that made your walls tumble down. She was funny and whip-smart. And she could relate and connect to anyone — no matter how young or old, no matter who you were. We are so grateful and lucky she shared her sweet and wise spirit with us all. If you spent time with Kelsey, you were better for it.
On December 6, Kelsey passed away in a tragic accident in Vermont — where she so loved to be.
Her time with us was too short — that we know. But while she was here, her light was fierce and bright. She was remarkably thoughtful and exceptionally kind. She loved her family and her friends purely and deeply. In honor of her, we will try to live with hearts as open as hers and with a twinkle in our eyes for the joy and adventure to be found in the world.
She is loved beyond words and with us, always.
Carrying Kelsey on in their hearts are her beloved mother Maureen Lee-Locke of Groveland and her beloved father Jonathan Locke of Haverhill; her loving brother Brandon Locke and her loving sister Reanna Locke; her grandparents, Elizabeth Lee and Thomas Lee, Hedda and Sydney Locke; aunts and uncles, Eileen Lee and Jon Kilian, Lauren Locke Maguire and Chet Maguire, Sharon and Joe Piotrowski, Louise and Pete Freese; her sister-cousins, Colleen and McKenna Kilian, cousins Jillian, Robyn, Jamie and Ian Maguire, Heather and AJ Piotrowski, Lauren, John, Ryan and Andrew Nawrocki, and Meredith and James Fidrocki; as well as family significant others, including Stephanie Sands and Tracey Latorelli. Dear neighbors and friends in Groveland and Barnet, Vermont, including Evan Perkins and Heidi Choate and their son Huckle, as well as all others who cared for Kelsey, form a large and loving extended family who will miss her dearly.
Kelsey’s family invites all who knew her to celebrate her life together on Saturday, December 15. A church service will be held at 12 p.m. at St. Patrick’s Church (114 Center St, Groveland, MA), followed by a gathering at Veasey Memorial Park (201 Washington St, Groveland, MA). All are welcome. Come as you are — that’s how Kelsey would want it. If you are inclined, you can accessorize for adventure: maybe a flannel shirt, or a warm knit hat, or a compass or trail map in your pocket ...

The family is thinking about the best way to honor Kelsey. In lieu of flowers, donations in her name can be sent to Kelsey’s mother, Maureen Lee-Locke at 86 School St., Groveland, MA 01834. Some ideas include helping kids and veterans get out into the mountains as well as organizations that give farm animals to people in need. Once the family decides the best way to use the funds, they will let donors know. They thank you for helping to keep Kelsey’s light shining bright.
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Published on December 13, 2018
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