Ella Louise KellyMay 12, 1933 ~ November 30, 2017 (age 84)
Ella Louise Kelly, 84, went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Thursday, November 30, 2017.
She was a devoted wife and mother, a loving grandmother and great-grandmother, a great-great-grandmother, and a faithful friend to many.
Louise was born on May 12, 1933, to Herbert and Mary Wright. She grew up in Bladen County in the aftermath of the Great Depression and throughout World War II and was one of that special American generation who sacrificed so much. As a young daughter and the eldest child she took care of her younger brother and sister to help her parents as they both worked in the cotton mill. As Louise would tell it, when she was a young woman working in Bladenboro, a handsome young prince of a man, a soldier at Ft. Bragg, James E. Harrell, swept her off her feet and they were married. As an Army wife for nearly twenty years until he retired, Louise and Jim raised three children, Sharon, Jamie and Jimmy. Louise had a strong faith and led husband Jim to his faith in Christ.
She was a consummate homemaker. Louise made all the dresses and blouses for her young daughters. She was a superb cook. She also provided day care, as needed, for the children of other families in their neighborhood.
Jim and Louise were married nearly twenty-five years when Jim died suddenly, leaving Louise with the responsibility of continuing to provide for and raise her son, Jimmy. She worked during the seventies in the Law Enforcement Center of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. As a petite attractive widow with a spunky personality, Louise caught the eye of a recently widowed Joseph F. Kelly. Joe was a gregarious Senior Federal Law Enforcement Officer recently retired from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms whose wife Grace, had passed away in 1978. Joe and Louise married in 1980. Throughout their thirty-six years of marriage, Joe and Louise grew together in their faith in God and shared their love for their growing, blended families which included six children and fourteen grandchildren. Louise thrived as she took on the role of wife, mother, and grandmother to her expanded family.
Having been a longtime member of a Baptist Church, Louise joined the Roman Catholic Church so she could share her worship with Joe. Together they became stalwart parishioners of St. Patrick Catholic Church. They contributed generously to the program that built the beautiful facilities in which the parishioners now worship and enjoy. And together they fulfilled countless blessings for other parishioners in need of support and encouragement. Louise served there for many years as the principal organizer of the post internment reception and luncheon for family and friends of deceased members.
They were always good neighbors and continued as such with their many good friends at Carolina Highlands before Joe passed in 2016. To the end of this life, Louise maintained her strong faith, her witty sense of humor (“Good things come in small packages”), and loving positive attitude. Well done, thou good and faithful servant.
Louise was preceded in death by her parents, Herbert J. and Mary Wright; sister, Shirley West (LJ); first husband, James E. Harrell; second husband, Joseph F. Kelly; grandson, Michael Folsom; and son-in-law, Levon Folsom.
She is survived by her brother, Herbert J. Wright (Maggie); daughters, Sharon Folsom and Jamie Harrell; son, James Harrell (Sandi), and Joe’s son and daughters, Robert Bittle, Marilyn Sutton (Ben) and Catherine Walker (Buck); the grandchildren are Shawn Folsom (Pam), and Jennifer Beasley, Shena Springs (Marcus), Dusty Cline (Tiffany), Wendi Cooke (Danny), Alisha Bittle, Rob Bittle (Cristy), Jason Sutton (Ginny), Blair Sutton Craig (Ryan), Walton Walker (Lorene), Joseph Walker, Catherine Walker Mielke (Ben) and Michael Walker. She is also survived by fifteen great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
A visitation will take place at St. Patrick Catholic Church on Thursday, December 7, 2017 from 11:45 am to 12:45 pm with the funeral mass starting at 1:00 pm followed by interment at Lafayette Memorial Gardens.
The family requests that donations be made to Cape Fear Valley Health Foundation, PO Box 87526, Fayetteville, NC 28304.