University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Remembering Marcia O’Kelly

Marcia O'Kelly

Marcia O'Kelly

Marcia O’Kelly, professor emerita of law, died Feb. 13, 2012, at home in Arlington Heights, Ill., surrounded by her children.  She was 77.

Marcia Levin was born June 3, 1934, in Indianapolis, Ind., to Mayer and Elizabeth (Herz) Levin.   She graduated from Wiley High School in Terre Haute, Ind., in 1951.  She earned her bachelor’s degree at Northwestern University in 1955.  She married Bernard O’Kelly in 1957.  He later became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UND; O’Kelly Hall is named for him.

She spent 11 years raising their children, and then earned her J.D. from the UND law school in 1971.  She earned her master of law at George Washington University in 1980.  After being admitted to the North Dakota Bar in 1971, she worked as a small claims court referee and in private legal practice until 1973, when she began teaching at UND as a visiting assistant professor.  She retired as professor emerita in 2001.

She specialized in civil rights, Constitutional law, employment discrimination, family law, and women and the law.  She was awarded the UND Foundation/Lydia and Arthur Saiki Prize for Graduate or Professional Teaching Excellence in 1985.

After her retirement, she was a member of the Village of Arlington Heights Senior Citizens Commission from 2008 to 2011. She also volunteered with the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County for many years.

O'Kelly is survived by her children, Liz (Tom Kivlahan) O'Kelly and Peter (Kerry) O'Kelly; her grandchildren, Erin O'Kelly, Stephen O'Kelly, Katherine O'Kelly, and Chris Kivlahan.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bernard O'Kelly; her son, Christopher O'Kelly; her sister, Alice Blum; and her parents.

A Celebration of Life open house will be held from noon to 12 p.m. until 2 p.m, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, at The Grand Station, 101 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights. Interment at St. Michael the Archangel Cemetery will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, 111 W. Campbell, Arlington Heights, IL 60005 or