Ann Rutledge Kelley, 77, died on November 11, 2012, at Davis Healthcare Center after a ten year battle with dementia. She was preceded in death by her husband Jesse Charles "Jack" Kelley and is survived by her daughter Melissa Ann Kelley of Wilmington, NC.

Ann was born on June 18, 1935, to Lawrence M. and Sylvia P. Rutledge in Washington, D.C., but spent most of her youth in Preston County, West Virginia. She was a graduate of Terra Alta High School, Class of 1953. In the early 1960's she moved to Alexandria, VA, and accepted a position as a ticket agent with Piedmont Airlines. It was there she met her future husband, Jack, a Piedmont pilot, and relocated to Wilmington, NC, after their marriage.

Ann was an avid lover of baseball, books, crossword puzzles and trivia games. She loved her friends and neighbors and possessed a dry wit that would always bring a laugh. She was a Pink Lady volunteer for New Hanover Memorial Hospital for many years until she was diagnosed with a rare, fast moving type of breast cancer and given a grave prognosis for survival. After defying the odds to beat the cancer that never returned, she dedicated herself to volunteering for the New Hanover County Public Library, which she did for nearly two decades. She only stopped when her dementia became too pronounced for her to continue.

There will be no formal service for Ann. Please read a good book, work a challenging crossword puzzle or take in a baseball game next Spring and remember her fondly. She loved you all.

Online condolences at

Published in the Wilmington Star-News from Nov. 16 to Nov. 19, 2012