Cover photo for Martha Elizabeth Kelley's Obituary
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1923 Martha 2023

Martha Elizabeth Kelley

February 10, 1923 — December 11, 2023

Athens

Martha Elizabeth Thompson Kelley passed away Monday, December 11, 2023, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Martha was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on February 10, 1923 and just recently celebrated her 100th birthday! Martha, will always be remembered as a sweet, humble, and caring Wife, Mother, Granny and Aunt.

Martha was the daughter of the late Matthew Eugene and Florence Thompson. She was preceded in death by her sweet and loving husband of 83 years, Robert Earl Kelley, Sr. She was also preceded in death by her son, Dr. Robert Earl Kelley, Jr.; three grandchildren: Scott Kelley, Tyler Kelley, and Lee Campbell; one great grandchild, Rawlings Andrew Pou; two sisters: Pauline Dean and Agnes Cunningham; her parents Florence and Eugene Thompson; sweet daughter-in-law, Rachel Kelley; and her best friend, Bernice Tucker.

Martha is survived by her children: Debra Kaleen Kelley (Fred) Gallo; Tallahassee, FL; Brian Lee (Connie) Kelley; Chickamauga, GA; Karen Kelley (Charly) Pou; Athens, GA.  Daughter-in-Law; Marie Soccaro, Georgetown, SC.

She was blessed with 16 grandchildren of whom 13 are survivors: Robby (Rhonda) Kelley, Snellville, GA; Mark Kelley, Danielsville, GA; Brent Kelley, Danielsville, GA; Nicole Kelley, Bogart, GA; John Kelley, Bogart, GA; Anna Kelley, Athens, GA; Jennifer (Mark) Munday, Tallahassee, FL; Katrina (Jason) Durham, Glasgow, KY; Kyle Harmon, Chickamauga, GA; Christopher (Michelle Moore) Pou, Bogart, GA; Nicholas (Melissa) Pou, Fayetteville, GA; Eli Salba, Athens, GA; Elizabeth Salba, Chicago, IL.

Also, blessed with 15 great-grandchildren of whom 14 are survivors: Zola (Ariana) Kelley, Jake Kelley, Violet Kelley, Ashton Durden, Hunter Durden, Noah Humphrey, Jayden Humphrey, Skylar Munday, Grayson Pou, Arlette Pou, Savannah Pou, Jake (Sheri Lou) Durham, Josh (Allyson Durham), Jessica (Taylor) Kistner. Also, she loved and was blessed with many sweet nieces and nephews.

Martha was passionate about her family and devoted her life to loving and caring for her family as a Wife, Mother, and Granny. She, like her husband, Earl, was raised during the depression which made her and her husband, hardworking and humble folks. She was raised in Chattanooga, TN and Rossville, GA. She married Robert Earl Kelley, Sr. on April 16, 1940. She was a strong, World War II Wife caring for her first born just two months old in Rossville, GA when her husband, Earl, began his service in WWII, 172nd Combat Engineers, July 1943 – December 1945 in France and Germany.  After WWII, with Earl being on third shift most of his years of working, she was the total Mother (nurturing, disciplinarian, nurse, homemaker, chauffeur and always active in children’s activities and her church). She loved music and loved listening to her husband play his beautiful mandolin or violin, and always humming while she worked. When their younger children were in high school, she began working at K-Mart in Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia where she loved helping others. She retired from K-Mart after 10 years of service to spend more time with her beloved Earl.

Martha will always be remembered as a gentle, humble, hardworking and loving Wife, Mother, Granny, Aunt and Friend. She will be remembered by her sweet, sweet, smile that can melt all hearts of those whose path she crossed.

Our family wishes to extend our loving gratitude to Martha’s Sweet Angel Friend, Barbara Parker, at High Shoals for her very special and loving friendship over the past five and one-half years and to the wonderful and caring staff at High Shoals Health and Rehab (especially her favorite CNAs, Rhonda & Melissa and nurses Janet, Lacey, Odessa, Tammy & Jennifer) and Affinis Hospice in Bishop, Georgia who cared for her twenty-four/seven.

Funeral services will be held Friday, December 15, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. at Princeton United Methodist Church, Athens, GA. The family will receive friends at Princeton UMC from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. just prior to the service. A graveside service will be held on Monday, December 18, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. at Lakewood Memory Gardens, Fort Oglethorpe, GA.

In lieu of flowers, Martha requested donations be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Alzheimer’s Association, Princeton United Methodist Church, or a charity of your choice.

Lord & Stephens Funeral Home, East, Athens, GA is in charge of the arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Martha Elizabeth Kelley, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, December 15, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Princeton United Methodist Church

2390 South Lumpkin Street, Athens, GA 30605

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Funeral Service

Friday, December 15, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Princeton United Methodist Church

2390 South Lumpkin Street, Athens, GA 30605

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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