BAPA Member Profile: Eva Kelly

By Kristin Boza

Eva Kelly, a long-time North Beverly resident, has made a point to support BAPA with an annual membership donation for the last 39 years — since 1978!

Kelly, and her late husband, purchased their home in 1970. “At that time, the racial mix of the area began to change. BAPA had taken the lead in trying to avoid the panic peddling that devastated other areas,” she said. “The issues of housing, education and safety were the core concerns of BAPA, and we felt a responsibility as residents to support it — and our local neighborhood organization, the Beverly Improvement Association.”

As the years went by, Kelly noticed that BAPA’s scope expanded to include numerous special events. “We looked forward to each issue of The Villager, reading it through to keep abreast of what was happening across the area,” she said.

Now that the Kelly children have grown and moved out, and Mr. Kelly has passed away, Eva is the oldest on her block and the second-longest resident. “I believe we made a wise choice in moving to Beverly. Our children learned to love the city, to take advantage of what it offered, and to experience a wider mix of people,” she said.