Billy Lee Kelly, 83, a lifelong resident of Rainbow City, Ala., passed away on June 30, 2012, at his home in Orange Beach, Ala. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. today at Collier-Butler Chapel. The Rev. Randy Gunter will officiate with burial in Southside Memorial Park.
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Mr. Kelly was born June 11, 1929 in Clifton, Ky., to Arlie and Georgia Kelly. He worked for 40 years as an Iron Worker Foreman for Local No. 92 in Birmingham. After retiring, he started his own business making and selling white oak baskets. He worked at his business for more than 25 years.
He was an avid collector, artist, storyteller, Sunday School teacher, vocalist, nature lover and world traveler. His favorite hobby was genealogy, which inspired him to research, write and have a book published on his family's history. His greatest love was for God, his family and a multitude of friends. Bill and his wife are members of MeadowBrook Baptist Church.
Mr. Kelly was preceded in death by his son, Billy Jack Kelly; and his sister, Inez Easter.
He is survived by his wife, Cora Lee Kelly, who was his lifelong partner for 60 years; daughters, Cindy (Chris) Bay of Lillian, and Donna (Wayne) Riser of Orange Beach; "adopted son" Abbas Kahadem of Newport Beach, Calif.; grandsons, Matt Mulkey of Orange Beach, Louie Gannon of Mobile, and Corporal Michael Bay, who is serving his country in Okinawa, Japan; sister. Joyce Black of Mt. Olive, Ala.; and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to express their gratitude for the love and support provided to them by MeadowBrook Baptist Church, all family friends and Asera/Hospice Nurse, Mr. Rusty Champion.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the MeadowBrook Baptist Church building fund.
The family will receive friends one hour prior to service.
Online condolences may be made at www.collier-butler.com.
Published in The Gadsden Times from July 2 to July 3, 2012