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by December 2, 2013
Kelcy was a 22 year old young lady who grew up in San Clemente and who died tragically and unexpectedly over the Thanksgiving weekend in Tennessee where she was attending college.
From the time she was a tiny girl Kelcy had a heart of gold. Kelcy's little friends nicknamed her "Mama" because since she was a child she has been caring and nurturing to all around her. She grew to be a talented woman with great compassion for doing her part to make the world a better place. She sang like an angel and traveled with her choir all over the world. Following in the footsteps of her parents, Kelcy was learning to be a teacher since it was her life passion to make a difference in the lives around her. She donated her time helping people with cognitive disabilities through the Best Buddies program, was fluent in sign language and volunteered at an orphanage in India for children with hearing impairment during the summer. Kelcy was an amazing and beautiful person inside and out and shared her unconditional love with the world.
Testimonials in memory of Kelcy's remarkable nature by her legions of friends are a fitting reminder of what a unique person she was. Her first grade teacher wrote: "What I saw then is still what your friends see now - your kind heart, your goodness, your sweetness, your sincere caring for others, your contagious smile, and their appreciation for having you in their lives". One friend wrote: "You were always smiling, you put everyone else before yourself, you listened, you did not turn your back on anyone". Another said: "You have changed the world and touched the lives of so many fortunate souls around you. You brightened up the room! I am so in awe of your grace, selflessness, and cheerfulness". Kelcy had a special glow in her soul that is hard to find in people and she shared it with every person she ever met.
Kelcy attended Lobo elementary school and many of her friends from that period remember the good times playing with her after school at Rancho San Clemente park which adjoins Lobo Elementary. Lobo was not only Kelcy's elementary school but a place where her mother, Jan Smart, taught from the time it opened until she retired a few years ago and where she so favorably impacted the lives of countless numbers of Kelcy's friends as well as those who weren't lucky enough to know Kelcy. Few people have had such an impact on so many who have called San Clemente home in the last 20 years.
Kelcy's father, John Smart, was also a longtime educator in San Clemente and was, at one time, the Principal of San Clemente High School. Anyone who ever met him would know how Kelcy acquired her always cheerful and smiling nature.
This is a family that left a remarkable legacy here in San Clemente and one that will continue to have an impact on the countless lives that they touched in this community. We feel that renaming Rancho San Clemente Park to Kelcy Marie Smart Memorial Park to honor Kelcy and her family's contributions would be a just and fitting way to honor Kelcy's memory and to thank her remarkable and now bereaved parents.
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