Micaela Elizabeth Bennett
Micaela Elizabeth Bennett
  • June 19, 1949 - August 9, 2017
  • New Orleans, Louisiana

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Micaela “Kell” Kelly Bennett, beloved wife of Dorian M. Bennett and adoring mother of Delia Caroline Bennett, passed away in her New Orleans home surrounded by loved ones on Wednesday, August 9th following a strong and inspiring fight against a rare cancer.

Kell was known by many as a creative businesswoman, artist, philanthropist, Francophile, chef, golfer and ‘hostess with the most-est’. Born and raised in New Orleans, she attended The Academy of the Sacred Heart and later LSU, Baton Rouge. Kell went on to spend her twenties and thirties living in Stuttgart, Germany and Paris, France. While in Germany, she participated in an equestrian club that included members of the Porsche and Jagermeister families. During her time in Paris, she opened Kell’s Corner, a unique needlepoint store in the 7th Arrondissement which was the first American-inspired needlepoint store of its kind in France. Kell’s Corner gained renown for Kell’s gorgeous hand-painted canvases and wide selection of colorful threads. Her clientele included Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Capucine, Hubert de Givenchy, and many more eclectic Parisians whom she remained friends with over the years.

In 1986, Kell moved back to New Orleans and in 1988 married local real estate broker Dorian Bennett and gave birth to their only child, Delia Caroline Bennett, in 1991. For years she devoted her life to supporting her husband in his business and their daughter as she grew into a young woman. Immediately following Katrina, the Bennett’s moved temporarily to Baton Rouge, where Kell spread her joy further. She made friends wherever she went. As an ‘empty-nester’, Kell returned to the retail sector and opened The White Camellia Garden & Gifts on Magazine Street, where she became known for her gourmet olive oils, mustards and spreads that she greeted customers with when they entered her shop.

Her kindness, humor, and joyful personality left a lasting mark on all who were lucky enough to know her. She is predeceased in death by her parents, Eloise and William F. Kelly and survived by her husband of 29 years, Dorian M. Bennett; daughter, Delia Caroline Bennett; sisters, Carmen Kelly Vendenabeele; Pamela Kelly Sills; Beth Kelly Cook; Amélie Kelly; brother, Allen Kelly; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at 11am and funeral services at 1pm on Wednesday, August 16, 2017, at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, 1025 Napoleon Ave., New Orleans,LA. Honorary pallbearers include Jamie Bernstein; Glade Bilby; Bob Edmundson; Greer Farris; Herbert Halpern; Allen Kelly; Tom Reagan; Jerry St. Pierre; Kelly C. Sills; and Kenneth F. Sills. A private internment service for family and immediate friends will take place at Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, Dorian and Delia request that donations be made in Kell’s honor to either The New Orleans Opera Association or The New Orleans Musician’s Clinic.