Betty F. Kelly

August 28, 1932 - May 17, 2024

Betty Jean Bell Fitzpatrick Kelly went home to be with her Savior on Friday, May 17, 2024. She was predeceased by her mother, Venie Hall Bell Powell; step-father, Tommy Powell; her father, William Lewis Bell; step-mother Claudine Rierson Bell; her brother, Melvin L. Bell; and her son, Frank E. Kelly, III.

Betty was blessed with marriage in 1951 to Robret C. (Bobby) Fitzpatrick until his passing in 1976. Then she had another blessed union with Frank E. Kelly, Jr from 1981 until his passing in 2021. They both lovingly called her “Bet”.

Betty graduated from Jefferson High School in 1950. She was on various school courts, and on the Homecoming Court her senior year. She was voted “Most Witty’ her senior year and that wonderful personality trait followed her throughout her life. Mom loved attending dances at the Big House in Southwest Roanoke. It was there that she met Bobby, being introduced by his brother Earl.

Betty began her career at SH Heironimus Department store while attending High School and continued to work there after graduating and getting married. She also worked at a laundry company on the west side near Wasena Park. In February of 1958, she joined the workforce at Hake Manufacturing Company. The company changed names several times; Diamond Plastics became Creative Packaging. Thereafter, it became Eli Lilly. In the early 70’s, Eli Lilly purchased Elizabeth Arden. Mom worked in every department and was the team leader in each area. She became the manager of the returned goods department and then was tapped for the company store. Mom retired in 1988, after 30 years of service. Mom met Frank while working at Eli Lilly.

Betty was a long-time member of Fellowship Baptist Church, where she was a Sunday School teacher who led many young people to salvation. She worked in the nursery and was a favorite lap for all the babies. Mom selflessly committed herself to many areas of need while at Fellowship Baptist and worked to make everyone’s life a little easier. She always provided to those in need and never let an opportunity to assist in food, clothing, transportation, or a visit to the homebound get missed. Frank was there to support and help her, providing for those less fortunate. They made a great pair.

Cooking was one of mom’s favorite ‘pastime’s’ and most everyone she knew benefitted from her generosity of meals, cakes, cookies, gravy and her famous cornbread. She was the BEST cook. She shared with everyone – family, friends, neighbors, caregivers and just every and anyone. She could not cook unless it was for many, never for just herself.

Family was most important to Betty. She loved her husbands, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, as well as her sister and brothers-in-law, aunts, uncles, and her numerous cousins.

Surviving are her children: Delaine (Richard) Newcomb, Robyn (Julian) Smith, Terry (Angie) Kelly, Kathryn (John) Thieben, and Alison (Leon) Perdue; grandchildren and great grandchildren: Brandon (Missy) Tuck, Hope and Mackenzie; Jake (Lauren) Tuck, Hannah, Jacob, Mason, Berkely and Atleigh; Laurie (Geoff) Goss, Riley, and Kellan; Erin (Tom Guffey) Ellis, Landon, Braeden, Reagan, Alexander and Jude; Daniel (Lauren) Kelly and Khannan; Shaina Kelly; Christopher Perdue and Caleigh; Cody (Kayla) Kelly and Blake and Raelynn; Richard (Kim) Newcomb and Anabel; Kristina (Sean) Britt and James; Derek (Kelly Whittaker) Kelly; Frank E. (Tori) Kelly, IV., and Whitney Moore and Kolton and Gavin.

Mom is also survived by her faithful, kind, loving, like a daughter, caregiver and friend of many years, Debbie (Larry) Austin. She could not have done without you. Also, her dear friend, Shirley Hylton, from 1958, when they began working together, and they remained best friends; and dear friend, Garnet Hypes, with whom she spent many Sundays together after church.

The family would like to express their appreciation for all the physicians and staff at the various facilities for their wonderful care of Mom. Especially, Dr. Kelli Linick. She has been a blessing to all our family.

As Cody said, our world became darker Friday morning. Mom was the light of our lives and has left a void that cannot be filled.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Fellowship Baptist Church, 5648 Oakland Blvd, Roanoke, VA 24012.

Family will receive friends from 2-4 and 6-8 pm on Tuesday, May 28th with a Chapel Service on Wednesday, May 29th at 11 am at Simpson Funeral Home (Peters Creek Road), with interment in Sherwood Memorial Park, Salem, VA following the Service.