Cover photo for Jennifer Ann (Thompson)  Kelly's Obituary
Jennifer Ann (Thompson)  Kelly Profile Photo
1953 Jennifer 2020

Jennifer Ann (Thompson) Kelly

August 17, 1953 — April 9, 2020



She keeps pussy willows in her pockets and puppies in her bed. She is far more loved than she is complicated.

Jennifer Ann (Thompson) Kelly passed away peacefully in the arms of her daughter in the early morning hours of April 9 to rejoin her parents and her beloved chihuahua, Leeloo.

Jennie grew up in Indianapolis and was a 1971 graduate of Lawrence Central H.S.  She had one daughter in 1973 and together, they helped raise each other. Jennie then moved to Florida and attended St. Petersburg Junior College where she received her A.A. in Liberal Arts in 1997.  She received her B.A. in Anthropology (2000) and her M.A. in Applied Anthropology (2004) at the University of South Florida in Tampa.  While at USF, she researched and presented her master’s thesis, entitled Stable Isotope Evidence for Maize Consumption and Other Dietary Practices at Bayshore Homes and Other Prehistoric Sites in Peninsular Florida. Her thesis research was later published in several professional journals and scientific books, most notably in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology (2004), Geoarchaeological and Bioarchaeological Studies (2005), and Histories of Maize (2006).  She also conducted research, via stable isotope analysis, on the subsistence strategies of the prehistoric inhabitants of Patagonia in South America and co-authored several articles related to that work in Cultural Anthropology (2004) and Anthropology: The Exploration of Human Diversity (2004, 2006).

Jennie moved to Texas in 2005 to take a position as an archaeologist with Coastal Environments, Inc., (CEI) at that firm’s office in Corpus Christi.  She quickly became a Principal Investigator for CEI and Branch Director of the Corpus Christi office.  While working for CEI, Jennie participated in numerous archaeological investigations in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and either authored or co-authored over 20 reports related to that research.  Chief among them was The Homestead of James Taylor White II: Historical, Archaeological, and Geophysical Investigations at Two Proposed Safety Rest Areas along Interstate Highway (IH) 10, Chambers County, Texas (2007), and Archaeological Investigations at the Site of the Alice Multi-Use Complex, Jim Wells County, Texas (2015).  During her last few years with CEI, Jennie helped direct excavations at sites for the Texas Department of Transportation, including a six-month-long project at Dimond Knoll in Harris County, a site containing prehistoric occupations dating back over 12,000 years.

Jennie left CEI in 2015 and moved back to her native Indiana to be with her daughter, grandsons, and only sister.  Jennie was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Lena Thompson. She is survived by her daughter, Lisa Kelly; two grandsons, Tristan and Julian Gibson; sister, Julie (Mike) McCormick; niece, Brittany McCormick; and nephews, Michael and Matthew McCormick.

Jennie’s interment will be on Sat. August 16th at Calvary Cemetery, Indianapolis, with details of Celebration of Life ceremony to follow this summer on Facebook.

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