Jul 21 2023

In memory of Nina Keleher

Smiling photo of LSE's Nina KeleherNina Keleher, Programme Manager for LSE, died at home in Canada surrounded by family on Tuesday 11 July 2023. Nina joined LSE in 2014 as a temporary administrator in the IT Training team in the IT Services Division (now DTS). She quickly became invaluable, not just to the team but the wider Division, and was appointed to a permanent role within the year. When the Digital Skills Lab was formed in 2018, Nina played a central role in ensuring the new unit was well organised and smoothly run, and she used her considerable networking talents to establish strong working relationships across the School. During her period of illness, her absence was keenly felt – not just for her outstanding work and initiative, but in her ability to bring everyone together, making old and new staff feel welcome and valued. Nevertheless, she stayed in touch with her colleagues, continuing to remind us all to enjoy life amidst the pressures and challenges of work. Even in the midst of her health challenges, she remained a supportive colleague and friend, demonstrating incredible bravery, compassion, honesty and openness from the moment of her cancer diagnosis through to the day she died.

Colleagues remember Nina as the heart of the team, a friendly face who was generous, warm and kind to all. Nina was also embedded in the life of the School, serving as a Fire Warden, Safe Contact,  member of several award-winning Green Impact teams, and active member of the IMT Games Club. As befits a member of LSE, Nina never stopped learning, studying alternative medicine, natural skin care, data analysis, Tunisian crochet and more in addition to her work commitments. Her curiosity and engagement with all aspects of the world and life, and especially with people, made her a wonderful friend as well as colleague and many of those who worked with her remember fondly their conversations and shared passions – from RuPaul’s Drag Race to the best restaurants in London, green spaces to vexillology. Nina’s ability to connect with others in a genuine and effortless way reflected both her wide range of interests as well as her skill in listening to and caring for those around her. Those who knew her describe her as honest and forthright, funny, engaging, confident, positive, compassionate, a big and wonderful personality, with a zest for life.

There will be a celebration of Nina’s life on the afternoon of Monday, 11 September – further details will be shared closer to the time. Her friends and colleagues outside of LSE are invited to contact digital.skills.lab@lse.ac.uk in order to be notified of the time and place once confirmed.

A collection for Nina’s nominated charities is available at: https://ninakeleher.muchloved.com/

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9 Responses to In memory of Nina Keleher

  1. Michael Wiemers says:

    I will always remember Nina for the wonderfully positive and kind person she was. I cannot name a single person I have met in my life that has a lighter and more humorous look on life in general. The way she was able to maintain that attitude even in the most difficult moments will always stay with me as an image of what an exceptional person she is. From the moment I first met her until the very last moments she was with us, her compassion and ability to connect with other people in an effortless and natural way have left a deep impression on me. Despite all her talents, charisma, and her beautiful sense of humour, her most virtuous quality was her ability to see the positive in each situation and person and thereby help everyone around her to develop that same quality within them. Nina’s passing has taught me to be more appreciative of the loving and kind people I have in my life, value the beautiful moments we share and aspire to be more like her. She was a gift to all of us.

  2. Claudine Provencher says:

    I last saw Nina in the summer of 2022 when my colleague, Daniel Linehan, and I were in a kiosk on the Library plaza, as part of Mental Health Awareness week. What was going to be a short conversation with a colleague turned into a long joyful chat about anything and everything peppered with much laughter and reminiscences about our respective childhood in Canada.

    It was shortly after that I learned about Nina’s illness. Over the months that followed, she and I exchanged a number of messages and photographs. I was really impressed by her willingness to make the most of the time she had left and will forever cherish a picture of her, her mum and her dog she had shared with me.

    I was really saddened to learn of her passing but really proud and pleased that she was able to decide when and how it should happen.

    She will be dearly missed.


  3. Helen Amelia Green says:

    Nina had the gifts of immense warmth and openness to others, combined with an insatiable curiosity about the world and the people around her.  Memories that spring to mind and give me comfort now include many, many conversations – about work, of course.  But also about so many things where we shared experiences and interests – from immigration, emigration, and families full of mixed cultural influences to the ways everyday things worked.  Radio and auto mechanics; recipes and nutrition; colours, fabric, and crafts; geography; and curiously, national anthems and flags – how and why they come to be and what they mean.  Most any topic was fair game, and questions, explorations, ideas, and much laughter were always part of their treatment.  During lockdown especially, these joyful, rambling conversations with Nina, scattered among the business-as-usual, were high points of that long and challenging time.  I consider myself fortunate to have shared them with her.
    I also find some comfort in the idea that when illness took away so many of her choices, Nina still made her own dignified and courageous decisions about where and how she would have her last days.

  4. Milena says:

    She will be dearly missed.
    I will never forget her kindness, curiosity and joy for life.
    I am thankful for the time we spent together.

  5. Deepa Pullanikkatil says:

    I first met Nina in Port Elizabeth in 2010 at the international LEAD conference. I was in awe at how well organized and well planned Nina was. She managed to bring together over 300 participants from more than 15 countries at this week long conference, manage the multiple parallel sessions, site visits, games, manage the finances, communications and so much more, it was amazing what Nina could do. LEAD 2010 conference is etched in my memory forever, and the memories are incomplete without Nina.
    She was the heart of LEAD’s administration and worked at the LEAD UK office at the time. We had a wonderful time at the conference, thanks to Nina Keleher We kept in touch and I met her again when I went to London and visited the LEAD UK office a few years later. Anyone who has met Nina cannot forget her. I am deeply saddened by this news and its a big loss for the LEAD Family many of whom will remember Nina fondly. Amazing smile, warm welcoming nature, and a conference organizer like none other! Nina, you will be dearly missed!

  6. Jillian Terry says:

    In 2018, I was lucky to be given an office next door to Nina’s – soon after, we began having regular chats about work, life, and our shared Canadian roots. We reminisced about our favourite Canadian dessert (nanaimo bars!). and whenever one of us would go back to visit family or friends, we’d return to the office with treats for the other. Nina’s positivity and enthusiasm for living life to its fullest always made our little corner of offices in 20 Kingsway a better and more joyful place to be. Pre-pandemic, we would both regularly walk into work and compare our daily step counts, and our shared love of stationery meant that I always had to stop by Nina’s desk to see her newest pen or post-it note acquisitions.

    At work, Nina was a gifted collaborator and problem-solver – it was such a pleasure to work with her on projects where LSE100 and the Digital Skills Lab joined forces. She was relentlessly optimistic, and always saw the best in both people and situations. It was clear to anyone that she cared a great deal about her work, but more importantly that she cared about the people she worked with. Crossing paths with Nina meant sharing in her joy, laughter, and positive spirit – among many of Nina’s incredible qualities, these are what I’ll miss most. I feel grateful to have known Nina, and so thankful to have ended up in an office next to her five years ago. Even after receiving her diagnosis, Nina never let her illness define her – she took her own journey to the very end, which I hope gives solace to all those who knew and loved her.

  7. Alison Carter says:

    I’m so sorry to learn of Nina’s passing. I didn’t know her well but she made a big impression on me with her friendliness and help when I was embarking on some training and exams with the Digital Skills Lab back in 2018. I found her very reassuring and approachable and always ready to provide extra information when I needed it and to reassure my anxieties.

  8. Jeff Oussoren says:

    I’m so so sorry to hear of Nina’s death, and I hope it was painless. Though I’m not sure it was.
    We spent 10 months as part of a team, in a cultural exchange and work program with the Canadian government in 1990.
    Nina helped build wells and outhouses in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, right on the equator.
    I will remember Nina fondly, and with tenderness. She was kind and sarcastic and jovial.
    I’m so sorry she’s gone, and I’m upset to hear of her death.
    Remembered lovingly and cherished

  9. Claire says:

    I’m so very sorry to hear of Nina’s passing. I never met Nina in person and only interacted with her once a few years back. I needed help using an unwieldy system and she got back to me quickly and offered a Teams call that day to go through my issues. She was so incredibly helpful but beyond that I remembered her because she was so warm, friendly and funny. We’d never met and we were talking online for the first time, but it felt like talking to an old friend! Everyone posting here knew her much better, but I just wanted to say that she left such a lovely impression even on those that she interacted with only fleetingly.

    My deepest condolences to her family and friends.

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