Dorothy Mae Kelly was born December 10, 1931, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the daughter of Cecil and Della (Lipe) Avery. She departed this life October 14, 2020 at the age of 88 years, 1 month and 25 days. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 66 years, John Kelly and by one sister, Rosemary Lambert.
She is survived by her sister, Jeanette Cobb (husband, Jim), nieces, Deiga Bennett (husband, Ron), Judy Larsen, and nephew Randy Cobb (wife, Denise). She is survived by 7 great nephews, 3 great nieces, as well as 15 great, great nephews and 2 great, great nieces. Although she dearly loved children, Dorothy was never blessed with children of her own. She had a special place in her heart for her nieces and nephews and their families. She loved hearing about all of them and keeping up with what was going on in their lives. She loved getting pictures and watching as they grew from babies to teenagers and then becoming adults with children of their own.
Dorothy lived her entire life in Oklahoma City, she was a charter member of the Southwest church of Christ. She became a Christian on July 8, 1943, at the age of 12. At that time, the congregation was meeting in a building on S. W. 24th and Agnew and they didn’t have a baptistery. Following services, she and her family, along with Christian friends, went to the Capitol Hill church of Christ and used their baptistery. Dorothy was a strong Christian lady, serving God through tough times and with many challenges. She always had a smile on her face, always had a cheerful attitude and was always interested in the things going on within her church family. When she was physically unable to be at church, she was always there in spirit. Eventually, due to their physical conditions, she and her husband had to move to an Assisted Living facility, and were no longer able to attend church. She looked forward to receiving the church bulletin, it was a way to keep in touch with members and things that were going on.
Church was an important part of her life as well as the lives of her parents. When her father was no longer able to drive, she would go to their house, pick them up and take them to church. She not only saw to the needs of her parents, but often helped an uncle who lived next door.
Dorothy graduated from Capitol Hill Senior High in January 1950. Following graduation, she worked as a cashier for the C. R. Anthony Department store in Capitol Hill. In August of 1950 she started working at Tinker Air Force Base. She held several very important positions while at Tinker. She worked with classified material and was responsible for proof reading all of the publication transcripts before they were printed. She enjoyed books, both reading and organizing them. This interest came in very handy when she was given the position of maintaining the library at Tinker Field. In this position, she learned the Dewey Decimal system for filing and locating books. She used this system to set up their large book collection at home, too. After working at Tinker for thirty years, she retired in April 1980. At the time of her retirement she was working as a Management Assistant to the Adjunct General.
After retiring she used the Dewey Decimal system to set up the church library. She worked in the church library for a long time, resigning this position when her husband retired from Tinker.
Dorothy enjoyed working on crafts, mostly crocheting, knitting, cross stitch, ceramics and later enjoyed the relaxation of adult coloring classes. She enjoyed flowers, and spent many hours planting and caring for her plants, both inside and outside her home. One of their homes had a room built just for her plants. She was especially proud of her collection of African Violets.
Dorothy was a very patient, protecting, loving and caring daughter, sister and wife, always putting others needs ahead of her own. She was not one to complain. She had many challenges in her life, one of those challenges was in taking care of her husband, which she did with love and respect. Legally blind all his life and eventually losing his eyesight completely was something most of us cannot imagine or fully comprehend the challenges that presented.
Dorothy had her own challenges, mostly due to health issues. There came a time when she and John had no choice but to go to an Assisted Living Facility. Not long after that Dorothy realized she was not going to be able to take care of things that needed to be done and turned those responsibilities over to her sister, Jeanette.
Jeanette lives in California and in 2010 became a long-distance care giver for Dorothy and John. Being a long-distance care giver has many challenges and you really need some local helpers. At this point, I would like to acknowledge and thank two very special friends, Barbara Halford and Linda Sanders. These two ladies did so much to help Dorothy with shopping, errands, doctor appointments and faithful visits, which were so very much appreciated. Linda always brought with her a chocolate shake from Brauns. Dorothy really enjoyed those chocolate shakes. Barbara was always “on call,” so willing to help with whatever we needed. Barbara and Linda, we can never thank you enough – we could not have done this without you.
Dorothy was a very special lady. She will undoubtedly have “many stars in her crown,” and she will be greatly missed by her family and friends. May God bless each and everyone of you and as Dorothy would so often say, “love you.”
Interment will be in the Mausoleum here at Resthaven following this service. You are welcome to stay for the graveside service as well.
Click here to view a webcast of the service on 10/23/2020 at 02:00 PM, Central Standard Time.
To send flowers to Dorothy's family, please visit our floral store.