Mrs. Rhoda Kelley, age 85, a homemaker of the Popes Hill community, entered into her eternal reward at 8:45 A.M. Wednesday morning, February 15, 2023, at the Quality Center for Rehabilitation and Healing in Lebanon where she was convalescing from chronic respiratory failure.
Mrs. Kelley was at the Carthage Chapel of Sanderson Funeral Home where her funeral services were conducted Friday afternoon, February 17th, at 1 p.m. with Bro. Jimmy Gregory officiating. Her grandson, Peyton Cook, delivered the eulogy. Burial followed beside her husband in the Garden of Gethsemane at the Smith County Memorial Gardens.
She was the fifth of seven children born to the late Alvin Porter Wilkerson, who died February 10, 1987 at the age of 74, and Johnnie Ann Driver Wilkerson, who died July 8, 1998 at the age of 84, and was born Rhoda Belle Wilkerson in the Watervale community on January 24, 1938.
On November 29, 1952 at the Smith County Courthouse she was united in marriage to Gordonsville native the late Charles Ray Kelley, who died January 26, 2017 at the age of 83, following sixty five years of marriage.
They were preceded in death by a daughter, Allison Ann Kelley, who died at the age of 49 on September 4, 2015, and a granddaughter, Miranda Eudene Duke, who also preceded Mrs. Kelley in death at the age of 35, on August 31, 2011.
Five of Mrs. Kelley’s six siblings preceded her in death. They were Ester Lee Wilkerson, who died at the age of 12 in 1941, Christine Wilkerson Slagle, who died at the age of 35 on August 31 in a two vehicle automobile accident on Popes Hill that also killed her husband and son, and Mr. Ira Carter, and Otis Wilkerson, who died February 18, 1993 at the age of 60, Delmore “Dukie” Wilkerson, who died October 20, 2017 at the age of 73, Nathan Wilkerson, who died October 11, 2019 at the age of 76.
Mrs. Kelley was a longtime member of the former Church at Bellwood.
Surviving is a daughter, Kathy Kelley Duke of the Popes Hill community; her only surviving sibling, a sister, Thelma Wilkerson Watts, also of the Popes Hill community; four surviving grandchildren, Peyton Cook and wife, Darian, of Lafayette, Carl Duke and wife, Brenda, of the Rome community, Amanda Duke of Dowelltown, Wesley Nabors of Lebanon; eight great-grandchildren, Brittany Jenkins and husband, Aaron, Destiny Dedmon and husband, Colby, Cheyenne Duke and fiancée, Chase Edwards, Jordan Duke and wife, Kelly, Seth Mofield, Tamara Heflin, Tristen Mayhew Cortez and husband, Steven; Charli Cook; four great-great-grandchildren, Charli Cook, Alliyah Dedmon, Briar Dedmon, Emmie Dedmon and Taryn Heflin.
SANDERSON of CARTHAGE