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Dr. Kelly Taylor Harkey
August 24, 1958 ~ October 30, 2023 (age 65) 65 Years Old
10 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Dr. Kelly's family - View on Tribute Wall
Kelly was a well-respected and beloved OB/GYN physician at Scripps Health and a devoted, loving husband and father. He passed away in his sleep on October 30, 2023, at the age of 65. He was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, the oldest of 3 children. He earned 2 degrees from UCLA and became a fierce fan of all things UCLA. He attended medical school at UCSD, where he fell in love with San Diego.
After two years of practicing in Valencia, he moved back to San Diego for good in 1993. Kelly not only delivered thousands of babies and saved many lives over the last 37 years at Sharp Mary Birch and Scripps, but was active in leadership at Scripps. He was one of the longest OB/GYN Department Chairmans, worked on the Quality Council and Peer Review.
Recently, he became certified in Perinatal Mental Health with his Nurse-Midwife wife, Sharon, and was a strong and passionate advocate in making it a focus at Scripps, at American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), and beyond. He and his wife became founding board members of the California Chapter of Postpartum Support International in 2020, as the Frontline Provider Liaisons.
Although Kelly had little spare time in his life, he did his best to play hard, too. His passions included fishing anywhere, learning to play bass guitar, grilling/smoking/cooking and traveling. Almost every vacation, he would hire a guide to take him to the ideal fly-fishing or deep-sea fishing spots. He made the best paella! He drove his wife crazy pointing out the bass line in every song! He joined the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick to honor his Irish lineage and was his daughters’ cheerleader at every Irish Dance competition. He loved trying a new whisky. He was looking forward to seeing Italy next summer since we had to cancel that trip in 2020.
He has left behind so many people that loved him! The love of his life, his wife of 22 years, Sharon, and their daughters Rhiannon and Brigit. They will miss him terribly as they navigate upcoming graduations, and life, without him. His older children from his first marriage, Sean and Kristen. His younger sister, Kathleen McGowan, and her 3 sons Patrick, Conor (and family) and Shane. His sisters/brothers in law, nieces and nephews, Cynthia and Woody with daughters Annie-Grace and Katalina (who Kelly delivered), Jennifer and Anthony, Laura and Danny with Eden and Gage. His parents in law, Vern and Marilyn. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Donna, and his brother, Kevin.
He will be greatly missed by his doctor, nurse-midwife, nurse and support staff colleagues at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla and his clinic family at Scripps Clinic, La Jolla Campus OB/GYN.
Lastly, he will be mourned by many, many long-term patients that he has known for years or decades. He was constantly being told that he “couldn’t retire yet” because they could not imagine finding another doctor. Some he met while they were in college, he delivered their babies, let them cry on his shoulder when they got a divorce and helped them through menopause and becoming a grandmother. He was a master of making his patients feel heard and cared for. He would sit at their bedside and make sure they understood everything that was happening in the hospital and many benefitted from his calming influence, as well as his amazing sense of humor to lighten the situation. He would get spotted like a celebrity at Costco and other public places as he met children/teenagers he delivered. He loved his work but hated the hours!
Kelly was a larger-than-life character and there is now a huge hole in the universe! There will be an Irish Wake planned in his honor in a couple months.
In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting Kelly’s passion for helping struggling new parents by donating to the California Chapter of Postpartum Support International.