Mt. Pleasant woman, mother of 7, known for ‘can-do’ attitude
When the future Nellie Kalp was first chatting with Donald Kalp, the man who would become her husband, the pair passed a group of children playing baseball.
A stray ball landed near her. Having played plenty of ball with her brothers, she didn’t give her response much thought.
“She reached down, picked it up, and wailed it across the street to the pitcher,” said Donnie Kalp, Nellie’s daughter. “That’s when (Donald) knew she was the one.”
Mrs. Kalp’s life was marked by a quiet do-it-yourself determination that got her through good times and bad, according to her children.
Nellie Helen “Nae” (Jones) Kalp of Mt. Pleasant died Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at Excela Frick Hospital. She was 92.
She was born in Uniontown to the late Jesse “Deacon” and Mary “Minnie” Jones, of Hawkeye.
She was one of 11 siblings, two of whom died during childbirth. She was close with her whole family, especially her older sisters, who cared for her and always made sure she had enough as the family struggled through the Great Depression.
During World War II, Mrs. Kalp worked at a factory in Scottdale, producing parts for the war effort. She was never told exactly what she was making.
As a young woman, Mrs. Kalp worked at a print shop in Mt. Pleasant. The shop was far enough away from her family’s home that she rented a room during the workweek and would return home on weekends. She rented the room from her future father-in-law, which is how she met Donald.
“He just caught her eye, definitely,” Donnie Kalp said.
The couple had seven children.
“She lived for her family, and that was her life,” said her daughter, Denise Kalp. “She gave it all, really.”
Mr. and Mrs. Kalp built their own home over the years. Improving it was a constant family project.
“It was a rural area, you had to fend for yourself, and you thought nothing of just doing those things,” said their son, Dirk Kalp.
In the early 1990s, Westmoreland County bought the family property to build a dam. The Kalps bought the house back from the county for a nominal cost, loaded it on a truck, and moved it up the road.
Mrs. Kalp remained very close with her sisters her whole life. Dirk Kalp described them as “three little white-haired Irish angels.”
Mrs. Kalp was preceded in death by her husband, Donald L. Kalp, and daughter, Danielle L. Kalp.
She is survived by her children, Daria Morris and her husband Bill; Dirk Kalp; Denise Kalp; Donnie Kalp; Diane Wolack and her husband Vince; and Derek Kalp and his wife, Kelly Keefe; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A viewing and service were held Friday at Mt. Pleasant Church of God.
All arrangements were under the direction of Brooks Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to Feed the Children or Mt. Pleasant Church of God.
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter .