George Kelly

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 17, 2010

George “Durwood” Kelly, entered into eternity on February 16, 2010, and is now “absent from the body and face-to-face with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8b). He was the kind of father to his two sons that all kids should have; a faithful and loving husband and a devoted sibling to his sister Willodean Chapman of San Antonio and Winford Kelly, his brother. Durwood was born in Louisville, Al. on June 14th, 1921. He attended Auburn University, driving his own cab while attending college and then moved back to Troy where he subsequently joined the US Navy. He was a proud member of the VB-VPB 106 B-24 aircraft squadron and served with them during WWII in the South Pacific, along with 25+ years of reserve duty attaining the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Nothing was more rewarding for Durwood than to attend his Navy squadron reunions, which he hardly ever missed, to visit with his comrades of WWII. The special bond they shared was something mostly unspoken but much cherished. After returning from the war, he and his brother Winford took over Kelly Sales and Tire Works from their father and they were partners for over 45 years until retiring. As a child, Durwood believed in Christ as his personal savior. He was a faithful member of the First Baptist Church and a deacon for many years. He served as the Baraca Class president, outreach leader and enjoyed the camaraderie of his fellow Christians. He was a loving, patient and constantly encouraging father to his two sons Mike and Mark. His public and private generosity, along with an attitude of forgiveness and service towards people in his periphery were an example and inspiration to his family and those who knew him.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Nita Whitehead Kelly, parents George Washington Kelly and Molen Henderson and brother Winford Kelly of Troy. He is survived by his two sons and their families— Mike and Sharon Kelly of Houston, TX and Mark and Teresa Kelly and their children, Nathan, Meredith, Scott and Christie of Troy, who Durwood adored and enjoyed, and his sister Willowdean Chapman of San Antonio, TX. Durwood was 100% American Patriot, a man of his word, generous, compassionate to all around him and always there to provide spiritual leadership and anything his family needed or wanted. He will be missed immeasurably, but his memory will live on through his family who will share part of him with those they meet. We already look forward to our reunion with him in heaven where we will see that endearing smile and hear that rascal laugh he enjoyed with everyone and spend eternity together. Durwood knew that the bible states “for me, living is Christ , dying is profit.” (Philippians 1:21)
A funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm Friday February 19th at First Baptist Church of Troy with Dr. Ellis Bush officiating Dillard Funeral Home of Troy Directing. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. There will be a private family graveside service. The family requests in lieu of flowers, memorials are given in his name to one of his beloved charities such as, the American Heart Association, Local Hospice, Cancer Research our local American Legion VFW Post 7055. He was a patriot of an era and generation that bought this country the freedom we enjoy today. May the principles of truth that his generation stood and fought for constantly remind us of the Grace of God wherein all freedom lies. Thank you, Father, for such a man. Thank you, Dad, for such a wonderful example of who and what a father should be. We can never fill your shoes but will do our best to follow your example and will be eternally grateful for your life and love.
The Baraca Class at First Baptist of Troy will serve as honorary pallbearers.
Military honors provided by Charlie’s Angles.

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