Kelly was born at the Gold Coast Hospital on 05/06/78 and with her family lived on Tamborine Mountain. At the tender age of 2 she was known as Kindy Kel. We always knew Kelly was the one in charge most days at Kindergarten.
Even though Kelly never married or had children of her own, over the years she accompanied nieces, younger cousins, friend’s children and little Tyler (who she nannied for a number of years) back to Kindy to have the same training instilled in them, that she had thrived on herself.
When she was maybe 18 months old, we entered Kelly in the local Baby Competition and in a borrowed dress, she won her age group and then went on to win Champion Baby of the Competition. We were sooo very proud and her two brothers Michael and Billy were secretly very proud of their little sister too! Kelly told me sometime later that she hated it, so there were no more Baby Competitions for Kelly !!
Kelly attended North Tamborine State School and was a very popular student with many friends. Kelly thrived at school and was also a keen swimmer, so many hours were spent at the local pool with all the other local kids. Really it was one big happy family!
Then in 1986 our family moved to Wellington in NSW where we lived on a farm. Kelly thrived on the farm with the baby lambs, calves, kangaroos, rabbits, kittens, chickens and ducks all needing a mum, which Kelly confidently filled that role. And it was on this farm she first began driving the farm vehicles around the paddocks at the age of 11 or 12 yrs. old. She attended St. Mary’s Central School in Wellington and again she was a very popular student, with lots and lots of good friends. While living in Wellington Kelly tried her hand at singing, entering in nearly every Country and Western Music Talent Quest in Central Western N.S.W. While she always had fun and always did her best, somehow I don’t think singing was Kelly’s forte, in fact, I am sure it was more about getting dressed up with makeup and putting on a bloody good show. Looking back now I know she should have been a comedian!
When the family moved back to the Mountain in 1992, Kelly attended Helensvale State High School, where again she made many good friends and still remained good friends with fellow students and teachers. Also while at Helensvale High School Kelly joined live Theatre and just absolutely loved it and was also a member of the Little Theatre Group on the Mtn. She always played humorous roles and she would always make us laugh and laugh till your cheeks hurt or you wet your pants
All through her younger and teenage years she was always babysitting friend’s children or involved with children one way or another. She was always very much in demand as a babysitter and the children just loved Kelly. And to this day the kids she looked after still would come to Kelly for advice or just a catch up; they are all like her nieces and nephews.
All through these teenage years, Kelly had some health issues, which included epilepsy, which she managed by sticking her head in the sand and pretending she did not have it. Never once did she let her health problems hold her back or stop her from having fun.
After Kelly finished year 12 at Helensvale she continued studying and working in the childcare industry, while holding down numerous other casual jobs and making many more friends.
In 2004 we headed off with Kelly overseas, a short holiday on the west coast of the US. Kelly left us in Las Vegas and flew off to London on her own; she already had some friends in London and made lots more. After a short time in London, she acquired a Nanny position with a family in Kensington. Her two charges Nick and Christophe became her constant companions, they travelled all over Europe, celebrating her boss’s Birthday in Venice at a palace on a canal, skiing in the French Alps to summers on the island of Corsica, south of France. All the while remaining true to herself, her family, her home and her country.
Kelly returned home after spending three years in London, with a very suspicious looking mole on her back. The mole was removed and Kelly was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma. She was forced to remain in Australia for surgery and regular check-ups at the Princess Alexandra Melanoma Clinic in Brisbane. It was at this time she acquired work in the Film Industry which ultimately lead to her getting a position as a nanny for an American family in L A. (She worked for them in Australia while they were making a movie here, they loved her so much, they took her back to LA with them) Her charges in LA were Franny and Finn and with Kelly in charge there was never a dull moment for Franny and Finn. And of course, during her stay in LA she made more close friends. She was constantly rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous in Hollywood, but not ever did that phase Kelly; she still remained Kelly Geissmann from Tamborine Mtn. Although she did mention quite regularly that she was “Just Awesome “
After nearly two years in LA she returned home, choosing to remain in Australia and going back to work in the Movie Industry on the Gold Coast. But at the same time continually staying in touch with her LA family and her London Family and all her good friends from all over the world and all over Australia.
During this time she lavished her family and friends with love and good fun times. She would just turn up at Bill and Lisa’s (Brother and Sister In Law) and say I am taking the kids to the movies OK? Sure Lisa would say “but don’t let them eat too much junk food”, “Sure” Kelly would say. So Kelly, Will and Jasmine (Nephew and Niece) are at the lolly shop at the movie complex and Kelly gives them the biggest lolly bags and says “have what you want and as much as you want” Will and Jasmine are still smiling about that trip to the movies with Aunty Kelly. (Word is she spent about $80.00 on lollies that day). She spoiled Jessica and Jade (Nieces) at the same level with shopping sprees and movie outings and no doubt the same lolly shop adventure (they have been smart and not told anyone about their big bags of lollies) I am sure Max and Maddie will never forget their fun times with Aunty Kelly, playing simple games like Hula Hooping.
In 2010 Kelly and her parents Bruce and Terri bought the local Hardware, Fishing n Camping Store at Rainbow Beach. Although Kelly still lived in the family home at Tamborine and worked on the Gold Coast in the Film Industry, every opportunity she got she was up at Rainbow Beach, helping us, Mum and Dad to run the shop. Kelly enjoyed swimming, running, flying kites on the beach and she especially loved fishing on the beach with her Dad (Bruce). Kelly loved being on the beach in the early mornings with the family dog, Beau.
In November 2011 the doctors had given Kelly the five years all clear, free from the hideous melanoma.
Yay!! What a celebration we had!!
But unfortunately, they were wrong, wrong, wrong….. On the 13 July 2012 they told us it was back in 75% of her liver, and nothing could be done to help Kelly. It was hopeless!!
From 13 July 2012 to the 28 December 2012, Kelly took her family and friends on the most fun-filled, amazing, nonstop final tour. It was filled with courage, strength, emotion, love and laughter, many, many tears and lots of cheers, determination and persistence. Lots of champagne toasts of good wishes and more tears!
I guess it helps a lot when you have that stubborn Geissmann blood running through your veins, especially when you have a denial system to maintain. Kelly was heard saying to Dr. Dan after he told her some nasty news she didn’t want to hear….. “You are messing with my denial system here, I think you should leave” But of course they laughed together and got on with the job at hand.
Kelly, aged 34 young years passed away on 28 December 2012, making her Aunty Suzanne’s birthday even more special!!
Written by Kelly’s very proud, but extremely sad Mum.
Kelly is desperately missed by her loving parents Bruce and Terri and brothers Michael and Billy.
Kelly was also a devoted sister-in-law, aunty, niece, cousin and a good friend to many, many people,
Kelly’s favourite colour is orange, she always claimed that she made orange fashionable, she was wearing orange long before it became trendy.
Anyone who knew Kelly, knows what a beautiful, vibrant, fun loving, amazing young woman she was. Who would ever think that such a horrific, insidious disease would ever take Kelly’s life? Well think again because it can happen to anyone including you……..So please use your sunscreen, stay out of the sun between 10am and 4pm. wear a hat and get your skin and moles checked regularly.
And if you need to get second or third or more medical opinions, just do it!! It could save your life and save your family and friends from broken hearts!!
Please click here to see a tribute to Kelly called “We Cry in Public” and in that you will find a little film called “She just Breathes” Please watch this film, it will give you an insight into Kelly and her struggle with melanoma. The film was made Mark Levin, Kelly’s Boss from LA, Franny and Finn’s Dad.
Mark, Jen, Franny and Finn also wrote this tribute to Kel.