Mr. Richard Gray "Dick" Kelly, age 90 died Thursday, July 6, 2017 at his home. Born in Yadkin County, June 14, 1927, he was the son of the late L.D. Kelly and Pearl Gough Kelly.
After graduating from Yadkinville High School, he served in the Air Force Division of the United States Army until the end of World War II. He then attended and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. He worked in a chemical laboratory in Radford, VA before marrying Ethel Marie Hall in 1951. Dick often shared that his biggest life accomplishment was marrying his grade school sweetheart, Ethel Marie. They were true soulmates through their childhood and marriage. His primary longing since her passing eight years ago was to be reunited with Ethel Marie.
Dick liked outdoor sports, including tennis, golf, fishing and bird hunting. Throughout his life he enjoyed bridge and beach-time in the Carolinas with friends and family. Dick and Ethel Marie moved to Winston-Salem, NC, where he started his career in the corrugated box business with Mengel Box Company, that later became Container Corporation of America. In 1967, he moved to Shelby, NC where he started a new plant for Container Corporation as Plant Manager. He served there until his retirement in 1987 as General Manager. He credited his business success to the hard working people with whom he worked.
Dick was a member of First Baptist Church since 1967 where he served as a Deacon and in a range of other capacities. In the community, he was active in numerous civic clubs (Kiwanis, United Way) and served on numerus boards. In particular, his leadership was shared with Hospice, Children's Homes of Cleveland County and Cleveland Community College.
The family would like to offer special thanks to Dick's caregivers: Delores Davis, Contina Wilson, Gina Collins, Evelyn Russell, Sandy Charles and Angel King and Hospice Nurses; Cristal Barlow and Peggy Robbs.
In addition to his parents, Dick is preceded in death by his wife, Ethel Marie; five brothers, Leonard William Kelly, David Lee Kelly, Ralph White Kelly, Newton Gough Kelly, Jack Thomas Kelly and two sisters; Garnet Kelly Williams and Mary Kelly Speas.
Dick is survived by two sons; Dr. Johnson Hall Kelly and his wife Martha Lanier Kelly of Shelby, Richard Dale Kelly and his wife Beth Foster Kelly of Richmond, VA; and one daughter, Rev. Linda Marie Kelly of Lenoir. Dick is also survived by six grandchildren, Mary Katherine Kelly Quispe and her husband Mario, II, Paul Kelly and his wife Keri, Caran Kelly, Taylor Chapman and her husband Josh, Brooke Long and Kasey Kelly; and the first great grandchild, Brooklyn Chapman.
Funeral service will be held on Sunday, July 9, 2017, at 3:00 pm at First Baptist Church of Shelby, with Rev. Perry Holleman officiating. Graveside services will be held prior to the funeral at Sunset Cemetery. The family will receive friends the evening prior, Saturday, July 8, 2017 from 5:00 pm until 6:30 pm at Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to: Children's Homes of Cleveland County, PO Box 2053, Shelby, NC 28151; Hospice of Cleveland County, 951 Wendover Heights Dr., Shelby, NC 28150, First Baptist Church of Shelby, 120 N. Lafayette Street, Shelby, NC 28150 or a charity of one's choice.
Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family of Mr. Kelly.
Guest Registry is available at www.cecilmburtonfuneralhome.com