Kelly Mckechnie Gage, 60, of Belfast, died peacefully at her home Sept. 21, 2019, of complications of early onset dementia which had been slowly progressive for the past 10 years. She was the daughter of Harold Hubert Mckechnie and Avis Gass Mckechnie and was born in Bangor on May 8, 1959.

Her happy childhood years were spent in Brewer where she graduated from Brewer High School in 1977. She enrolled in Thomas College and studied accounting. After college she held a number of positions as a bank teller and then office manager for a number of medical practices. Her sunny disposition, radiant smile, infectious laugh, quick wit, intelligence and genuine concern for others made her the ideal front office person.

Kelly will be most remembered as a mother and "Nana" to her six sons and their wives and significant others, 17 grandchildren and her first great-grandchild. She viewed motherhood as her highest calling and her purpose in life. For her, every day was “Mother’s Day.” It was not just her own children to whom she was a mother — her home was often filled with young people who needed a sympathetic shoulder, a scoop of apple crisp or a place to stay while they got their lives together.

She was a great cook and no one ever left her table hungry — it was with a smile she always said “If we don’t know what to do, we can always eat.”

The tragedy of her dementia is that she didn’t have all the years she would have wanted with her grandchildren. She could start Christmas shopping in August for her grandchildren and keep on going until the following August.

She lived her last 30 years with the love of her life, John. They were always there for each other as they shared great times and adversity. Together they traveled, camped at Keoka Beach in the summers or in later years boated on Swan Lake from their camp.

In recent years, she loved going for rides in her fire engine red Mustang convertible, which brought her a sense of peace.

Family was always foremost to both of them, and they had many family gatherings which were the high points of their lives. She will always be at those gatherings in spirit when her signature dish — pizza dip — is brought out.

She was predeceased by her father, Harold “Mac” Mckechnie and her mother Avis (Gass) Mckechnie.

She is survived by her husband John Gage; her sister Sandra Moses and husband Larry; and her brother William “Billy” Mckechnie and his wife Nancy. She is also survived by her sons, Mathew Hopkins and his wife Amanda, Michael Hopkins and his significant other Christine Howie and Scott Hopkins and his wife Courtney; step-sons Matthew Gage and wife Miriam, Eric Gage and wife Bethany, and Peter Gage and wife Jenny. Kelly is also survived by grandchildren Kidron, Natalya, Jarron, Davin, Camyra and Aneesa Gage; Brianna, Nick and Austin Gage; Kyra and Coral Lynch and Laney Barnaby; Cassie and Zachary Armstrong-Hopkins; Gage Hopkins; Chase and Drew Hopkins; and great-granddaughter, Zephrine .

Visiting hours will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 26, at Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave., Belfast. A funeral will follow Friday, Sept. 27, at 4 p.m. at First Church, 8 Court St., Belfast, with a private interment at Woodlawn Cemetery in Brewer.  Those who wish may make memorial contributions in her memory to a local food pantry or an animal shelter of your choice. Memories and condolences may be offered to the family online at ripostafh.com.