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Ann Kelt

March 2, 2018 ~ January 1, 1928 (age 90)

Resident of Pleasant Hill

Ann Kelt passed away peacefully after a short stint with congestive heart failure and a longer stint with dementia.  Ann was very intelligent and she channeled this by  dedicating herself to her passion for helping others and always growing her knowledge.

Ann’s major passion was for the blind community and her work with Braille.  She learned how to transcribe Braille in the 1960s and then spread her knowledge and passion to the world.  She worked with the teachers for the visually impaired in the Richmond School District until she retired at 65.  At the same time she volunteered her time and energy to Braille, an effort she continued until her late 80s.  Ann taught others how to transcribe Braille and mentored other transcribers.  She served on two committees for Braille Association of North America (BANA) to rewrite Braille format and create foreign language guidelines.  She was a member, president and conference chair of California Transcribers and Educators for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CTEBVI)   She was particularly proud of her work and relationship with prisoners at Folsom Prison who learned Braille from her, and who called her “mom”.  Ann received many awards for her efforts.  The most notable was the National Braille Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

Ann’s other passions were her children and grandchildren; her cats, Emerson and Kitty; traveling around the world, especially England; collecting Kachina dolls; and her fierce commitment to equality for women and girls.  She was a guardian for Job Daughters, troop leader for Girl Scouts and was always involved in her children’s after school activities.  She never stopped reading and learning more about the world.

Ann spent her childhood in North Fork, CA and Sacramento, CA.  She graduated from UC Berkeley at 19 with a Bachelors degree in Political Science.  She married her college sweetheart, Alan, and in 1955 they moved to Pleasant Hill.  She lived there the rest of her life.

Ann is survived by her children, Kathy Senti (Chris), Andra Gullberg (Rod) and Doug Kelt (Victoria Dye);  her grandchildren, Amanda (Ben), Melissa (Scott), Joanna, Michelle (Justin), Nathan (Ali) and Sean (Rhonda); and her 8 great grandchildren.  She often spoke about how proud she was of her family and their accomplishments, and was amazed that she produced all of them.  Ann was predeceased by her husband, Alan, in 1977.

Ann was a loyal and dedicated friend and helper to many in her local and larger community, and will always be remembered for her helping nature and commitment to others. At her request there will be no services.  Donations may be made to CTEBVI.org,  American Association of University Women (AAUW.org) or Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org).

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