Low, Boys & Girls Clubs mainstay, dies at 55
by Sam Matthews
Jul 03, 2014 | 9262 views | 5 5 comments | 69 69 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Kelly Knight Low has been described as “the spirit of the Boys and Girls Clubs,” and all those who knew her at the clubs and in the community wholeheartedly agree with that.

That spirit lives on in memories after her death Wednesday at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital after a short illness. She was 55.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Portuguese Hall.

“Kelly’s whole passion was the Boys and Girls Clubs,” said Frances Mizuno, a longtime board member who now serves as board president. “Kelly touched the lives of everyone involved, from kids, staff members and board members. She was an important part of the extended family.”

Mizuno said Low’s dedication to the Boys and Girls Club extended far into the community as director of resource development.

She served on the staff for more than 10 years, with primary responsibility for generating financial and other support for the six club locations with an annual budget of $1.6 million.

She also performed countless other tasks, whenever and however needed, at the main office on Lowell Avenue, said Kelly Wilson, the organization’s chief professional officer.

“Kelly was just so much more than an employee. Her heart was in the club, and she had such a tremendous spirit,” Wilson said.

Wilson noted that the two Kellys worked closely together on all of the clubs’ programs and projects, adding: “There wasn’t a child’s need that she didn’t work to fill.”

Linda Turner — who with her husband, Keena, has worked closely with Low for a decade in organizing the annual Keena Turner Golf Tournament, a major club fundraiser — remembers her many planning meetings with Low.

“We met almost weekly over four or five months, and we became really good friends,” Turner said. “She was just so smart, talented and committed to the Boys and Girls Clubs.”

She said Low was “so at ease” with everyone she worked with at the Boys and Girls Clubs — children of every age, people on the staff and sponsors.

“She was a truly a special person, and she so loved that place and what it is doing for all those kids,” she said.

Kelly Knight Low was born in Detroit, the oldest of six children.

While attending the University of Michigan, she was an emergency medical technician and firefighter.

She moved to the Silicon Valley in 1991 and worked in the semiconductor industry, becoming director of sales for Sony Semi-conductor.

The family moved to Tracy in 2000, and she joined the Boys and Girls Clubs staff in October 2003.

Survivors include her husband, Jeff Low, and a daughter, Katie Low, both of Tracy.

The family prefers memorial contributions in Mrs. Low’s name to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Tracy, 753 W. Lowell Ave., Tracy, CA 95376. 

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lspitsen
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July 08, 2014
I worked with Kelly at Sony Semiconductor - I remember her as energetic, fun, the life of the party, caring, and a hard, loyal employee. She loved her family, she worked hard to make a good life for them and to set a great example for her daughter. Kelly taught me a very important lesson over 16 years ago that I still talk about to this day. She was challenged with balancing work, a long commute to Tracy and being a brand new mother (about which she was simply thrilled!) Way back then, I actually suggested she needed to make a choice between work and family (shame on me). She bravely explained that if and when I ever had my own children, I would understand. She didn't blame me for being selfish and single-minded. She set the example about how to work hard to have both a wonderful family and a successful career. She proved me wrong. From Kelly, I learned about the importance of standing in someone elses shoes. After the birth of my own daughter 2 years later, I flashed back to the conversation and profusely apologized to Kelly (she graciously accepted). I'll never forget Kelly Low. And although taken from the Earth too soon, may she rest in peace.

mikehornig
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July 07, 2014
Although I did not have the pleasure of meeting Kelly Low, Jeff Low has been a business associate and a good friend for many years. I was deeply saddened to hear the news of Kelly's passing and offer my sincere condolences to Jeff, his daughter Katie, extended family and friends for their sudden and tragic loss.

Mike Hornig
dkjuicy
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July 07, 2014
They say be careful how you talk to folks that just might be your Angel. 19 years ago Kelly Knight-Low saw me working as a barista in Starbucks (SONY), she never really said to much to me at that time but she was always in a hurry so I’d make when she came in all of her breakfast goods were ready no matter how long that line was. She’d smile walk passed everyone and come back and pay later….after about 2 months she said come work for me, I told her no way I see all these corporate people come in here and they are always angry..cannot do I told her…but then she promised to teach me how to use a computer, I was just divorcing and I was computer illiterate and just getting back into the workforce. She said if you work for me I promise you’re going back to school to get your Bachelor’s Degree, she promised I’d own my own home and she promised my girls would never be able to say “you didn’t got to college” she promised when she was finished with me I’d really be something special. Because she told me that I could not see all the good that was in me…My “RED-FIRE HAIRED ANGEL”(Kelly Knight-Low)….is now amongst the Angels because he only takes the best…..but I need you to know I NOW see wh
jersey25
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July 04, 2014
My Heart and prayers go out to Jeff,Katie and the rest of Kelly's Family.As A former member of the board of directors I was deeply saddened to read about her passing. I remember Kelly on her Firstday at the club she was outgoing and allways had a smile on her face and she would go out of her way to help anyone.To the world you might be one person to one child,you might be the world and kelly with her passion and dedciation she was the whole world to every child that she help at the club.

Shirley Mitchum
AustinGal
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July 04, 2014
We are deeply saddened to hear about Kelly's passing. She was an amazing and gifted woman who loved her family and loved others!

She was one of the most passionate and dedicated women I have ever met. She adored her daughter and husband! We have very sweet memories of Kelly, Katie, and Jeff as we were all part of the Children's Dance Theater. Kelly worked endlessly on the Nutcracker production for many years behind the scenes. She was a blessing to Tracy for sure ! Our prayers are with Katie and Jeff and for everyone who was touched by her. May your spirit live on Kelly!!

~Laurie and Emily Axford~



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