From Antarctica to Zanzibar is a good description of the life of Lissa Kelley
Lissa died November 16, 2016 at age 61 after a five-year fight with cancer.
Lissa was born in Knoxville in 1955. Her parents were George and Dot Galloway. George was an architect and artist and Dot was an artist. Both were accomplished painters and each won the Tennessee Watercolor Society annual award-of-merit.
Several of their award wining paintings are included in Lissa’s collection of paintings and sculptures.
Lissa is survived by Jim, her husband of 32 years, daughter Kathleen Kelley and son-in-law Michael Sisskin-Fernandez of Washington, DC, sister Anne Galloway of Knoxville, TN, cousins Jim and Nancy Dunston of Custer, SD, and beloved Italian Greyhound Tio.
Lissa graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1977. She attended graduate school at Southern Illinois University and moved to Nashville in 1981. She then got a degree in Interior Design from Watkins College of Art, Design and Film. She worked for an architectural firm for several years as interior designer specializing in hospitals, office buildings and hotels.
Community Service became Lissa’s primary activity. She was a CASA volunteer and served on the Board of CASA. She was a tutor for the Nashville Adult Literacy Council and sponsored a team in its annual spelling bee. She chaired many fundraising events for local charities including Artrageous for Nashville Cares, Dinner on the Bridge for Greenways of Nashville, The Commissioners’ Dinner for Watkins College of Art, Design and Film, and The Richland Home Tour for the Richland West End Neighborhood, and worked on events for Oasis Center, American Friends of Chantilly and OZ.
The travel bug bit Lissa and Jim soon after they were married. Over the last 30 years, often accompanied by Kathleen and Dot, they visited about 50 countries and all seven continents, including two visits to Antarctica and five visits to Africa. Some of Lissa’s favorite experiences were seeing polar bears in Svalbard, climbing the red dunes in Namibia, mingling with penguins in Antarctica, scaling the temple at Angkor Wat, cuddling a lemur in Madagascar, fly fishing in the Big Horn River in Montana, exploring Machu Picchu, and sitting in an open land rover in the midst of a pride of lions in South Africa.
Lissa’s other favorite hobbies were cooking and gardening. As part of the initial renovation of their house, Lissa hired childhood friends and then just-starting-out-their-careers landscape architects Kim and Gary Hawkins to create the landscape plan. Lissa’s gardens have evolved from that plan over the last 30 years and have been featured on several garden tours sponsored by various charities.
Travel and food were a great combination for Lissa. She attended cooking classes on many trips including Marrakech (where the chef was featured in an article in the International Herald Tribune the day after the class), Lima and Jaipur. If a cooking class was not available then a street food tour was the next choice—favorites included Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. For many years Lissa hosted an annual holiday dinner with the cuisine being from one of the countries Jim and she had visited that year.
Special thanks to the nurses, doctors and staff at Centennial MSICU and the Sarah Cannon Center.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Nashville Humane Association, Watkins College of Art, Design and Film, or the charity of your choice.
Arrangements are pending. A Memorial Service will be held at a time and place to be announced.