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Serena Keliher

October 24, 1942 - October 1, 2023

Service Date October 4, 2023

Location Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at 10:00 a.m., at Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.  Burial will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery.

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Simple Words, Written by Serena Years Ago

Serena Keliher went home to Jesus on 10-1-23.


She was born October 24, 1942 to Maurice (Mote) and Mabel Keliher. The Keliher family settled in Rapid City, in the late 1800s. She graduated from Cathedral High School in 1960. Serena was one of the organizers that build United Girls Softball field. When she lived in Arizona, she volunteered in Prison Ministry and cooking for the homeless. She also loved to play tennis.


Serena was known for always having a smile!


Survived by sister Maureen Keliher of Sioux Falls, daughter Deb Hilt (Rochester, MN), son Tom Hilt (Rapid City), and four grandchildren.


Preceded in death by her mother, Mabel Keliher, brother Maury, and brother Frank.



Thoughts from Her Children, on the Recent Years

A health cross arrived four years ago. But as she bore the weight, a beauty emerged. Happy simplicity started arising in Serena. Those who interacted with her along the way received both her trust and gratitude, and accepted warmly her amazing smile.


In these final years her innocence induced healing throughout her family. It is as if God said, “I wish to make you light for flight, and use you to start that path in others.” Suffering can have such unexpected results, in the hands of the One who loves us all.


So, so many cared for Serena along the way. You have shown to Serena and us how love is defined by self-gift. The work you do is difficult, chaotic, and very necessary and beautiful. May God bless you abundantly for continuing to bring His love to the world.


Thank you, Mom, for taking us on this amazing journey, and for smiling even as your spirit left your body. We shall miss you deeply, but are so, so happy for all you have given us and where we suspect you are going.


And behind all of this is, of course, the God who guides us. We see your fingerprint in this journey, we thank you for your love, and we pray for your mercy for Serena.


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