Kelly Ann Cain was born on June 28, 1960 in Lincoln to Dr. Jerome A. and Helen M. Cain. She attended Eastridge Elementary School, Millard Lefler Junior High, and graduated from Waverly High School. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a B.A. in journalism. She explored an early interest in photography in high school and college. She worked in the food service industry for many years, ranging from server to assistant and general manager. She opened several restaurants in California, Texas, and Nebraska. She won a number of awards for her outstanding sales and was featured in newspaper articles related to restaurant service skills. It was not unusual to be out and about with her in public and have someone recognize her for the excellent service she provided, whether at Wilderness Ridge, Scrumpy Jack’s, Green Gateau, or other Lincoln venues. As a primary caregiver for her mother, Kelly discovered yet another set of skills: those of a home health care provider. She had, she said, found her true calling. She was known among her clients, co-workers, and employers for her compassion, her generosity, her wit—and for her little dog Burt, who helped bring cheer to those she cared for. She loved this work and flourished in it. She returned to an early love of photography and explored it, along with a developing interest in Nature, at her beloved Holmes Lake Park. Through her daily walks, in all weathers, with Burt in one hand and her camera in the other, she learned the habits of animals large and small, from frogs to bald eagles. Her photographs leave behind a legacy of learning about the world of red foxes, coyotes, turtles, red-tailed hawks—and every bird that visited or lived at Holmes Lake. Her photos were published in Nebraskaland magazine and she shared them on her Facebook and YouTube pages. Her videotape of an American woodcock mother teaching her chicks to hunt is one of the best examples of this behavior you will ever see. (You can view it at Nebraska Through the Lens Facebook page at: https://trtr.facebook.com/groups/241634282627903/permalink/1978251378966176/?comment_id=1994354724022508 or by Googling: kelly cain woodcock youtube). When Kelly received her diagnosis of stage four esophageal cancer two years ago, she told her doctor she did not want to know how long she had—she just wanted to live her life. With her irrepressible spirit, and the love of family, friends, and the beautiful community of First Plymouth Church, where she found her true spiritual home and the anchor of her faith these last many years, that’s exactly what she did. She worked as long as she could. She kept up her daily walks. She took up kayaking. She faced her cancer and the treatments with undaunted courage and no small measure of humor. She was not afraid, she said. And she meant it. She left the earth without pain or struggle on October 7, 2021, after residing at Monarch House for nearly a month.
Kelly is preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Vincent Sean. She is survived by her sister, Kathleen Cain, of Arvada, CO; brothers, Dan (Kathy) and Keenan (Peggy), all of Lincoln; sister-in-law, Dot Cain, of Colorado Springs, CO; uncle, Mike Gallagher, of Hereford, TX; aunts, Patricia Gaume, of Kansas City, MO and Sr. Margaret Mary Cain, of O.S.U. (Alton, IL); nephews, Dillon Cain, of Phoenix, AZ, Adam (Ashley) Cain, of Lincoln, Sean Cain, of Parker, CO, and Elliott Cain, of Lincoln; nieces, Ahsha Morin, of Lawton, OK, and Meredith Cain, of Lincoln; as well as, numerous great-nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Memorials may be directed to The Capital Humane Society. https://www.capitalhumanesociety.org/
Celebration of Life 11:00 a.m. Friday, October 15, 2021, at First Plymouth Congregational Church Chapel, 2000 D Street, Lincoln, NE