KELLY THORNE MUZZI, age 20, of Troy, died Friday, April 1, 2005 following
a tragic accident at Bennington College in Vermont. She was born July 8, 1984 in
Southfield, Michigan, and was raised in Royal Oak and Troy, MI.
She was not about accolades or awards, rather experience, presence, dedication
and creative expression - in the development of connection and understanding. She
worked to eliminate barriers between people because she saw so few herself. Race,
age, status, position, sexual orientation, “cool”, “nerd”, societal “haves” or “have
nots” - she acknowledged such superficial labels only long enough to trample over
them to touch the person on the other side.
The arts were her method of expression. To this she brought tremendous intensity
and ability to focus which produced much moving, delightful and sometimes
profound dramatic work. She was truly fearless in her approach to living. This sent
her traveling around the world. As a student at Bennington College in Vermont, she
had also lived in New York City, Chicago, Alaska and Kenya in the last two and a
half years. She developed these work and study programs herself, living with
several students, in arrangements she helped create.
She was strongly present in each moment, easily sharing whatever thought, feeling
or concept she was experiencing or developing. She had no pretense and very little
regard for “social graces”; touching the world in a unique and refreshing way.
She was captivated by ideas - social justice, peace, environmental responsibility,
healthy living and always open to learning more.
She could make you laugh or poignantly move you to tears - yet you always knew
she was fully present and alive.
She will be dearly and deeply missed. May the kind of love and expression that she
stood for live on in all of us.
Kelly graduated from Seaholm High School, Birmingham in 2002, where she was a
strong participant in and advocate for, the Flex Program, a challenging
interdisciplinary study of English and Social Studies, where creativity and
independent thoughts are encouraged.
She studied the cello, piano and voice – always involved in the Theatre, starting with
the Popcorn Players at the Birmingham Community House. She also participated in
the Cranbrook Summer Theater program, and attended Blue Lake and Interlochen
Fine Arts Camps. She also took part in the National High School Institute at
Northwestern University in the Summer Cherubs Theater Program. In her senior
year at Seaholm, she co-starred and co-directed “Night, Mother”. At the time of
her death, she was preparing to direct the play, “Top Girls” at Bennington, to be
performed May 6 & 7. The play will be performed as planned, in her memory. She
was planning to work this summer as a Faculty Associate for the National High
School Institute Theater Art Divisions at Northwestern University.
She was a Youth Group co-chair at Birmingham Unitarian Church, and a peer
counselor at Common Ground Sanctuary in Pontiac. She founded the Gay-Straight
Alliance at Seaholm and her work in starting this group led to the Eleanor Roosevelt
Award from Seaholm High School in 2002, and an award as a Diversity Champion
in 2001 from the Birmingham-Bloomfield Task Force on Race Relationships and
Kelly loved Bennington College in Vermont. There she served on the Judicial
Committee and was a Peer Advisor, and worked for the Admissions Office. She
did field work in a theater company in New York City during her freshman year. In
her sophomore year, she worked in Chicago doing children’s play theater with
under-privileged children. She spent last summer in Ketchikan, Alaska, at the
Dockside Trading Company. This past January and February (2005), she went to
Kenya to work for SOTENI, International, working with children orphaned by
For Kelly’s travels to Africa visit www.travelpod.com/members/kellyinkenya
She also had a passion for horses and riding.
Beloved daughter of Dennis Muzzi and Andrea Thorne
Loving sister of Sean and Christina
Grand-daughter of Joseph and Patricia Muzzi, and the late James and Mary Thorne
Kelly touched the lives of many others including aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Kelly's Obituary, published by Desmond Funeral Home
Kelly Thorne Muzzi
(July 8, 1984 - April 1, 2005)
A charitable fund is being established in Kelly’s honor to support the Arts as a way to bridge
the barriers between people. Gifts may be sent to:
The Burdick Thorne Foundation/Kelly Fund,
136 E. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1201, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
SOTENI International, 8875 Spooky Ridge Lane, Cincinnati, OH 45242 (SOTENI helps
AIDS orphans in Africa)