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Willie Pearl Moody Kelly Collins

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Willie Pearl Moody Kelly Collins, 95, passed away peacefully, Oct. 12, 2007, in Paso Robles, Calif., just a month shy of her 96th birthday.
The second of six children, she was born Nov. 22, 1911, to Matthew and Lillie (Addock) Moody in Neshoba County near Philadelphia, Miss. After high school, Willie Pearl attended Mississippi Southern College in Hattiesburg, where she earned her teaching certificate. She taught students in a one-room schoolhouse for several years, during which time she met and, in 1933, married Oscar Champion Kelly. They were blessed with four daughters and a son.
In 1955 the family moved to Alamogordo where Oscar, worked for Land-Air as an electrical engineer. Willie Pearl provided expert tailoring and alterations at local stores including Fashion Fabrics, Sears and JC Penney.
Oscar passed away in 1963, and in 1970 Willie Pearl married Ernest Collins. Together they managed the Alamogordo Hertz Rent-a-Car office and shuttled cars back and forth to the El Paso, Texas, airport. She continued to drive for Hertz until she was 83 years old.
"Mamaw," as she was known, made dozens of beautiful hand-pieced quilts over the years. She was a good cook, and always enjoyed family gatherings that were usually held at her small adobe house on New York Avenue with five generations filling the house and spilling out into the backyard. Her daughter, Sue, cared for Willie Pearl after her health declined in her late 80s, until Mamaw moved to California where she lived with her son, Jimmie, until her death.
She was preceded in death by two husbands, Oscar Champion Kelly and Ernest Collins; her parents; sisters Eva and Hazel; brothers Claude and Lloyd; daughters, Jean Kelly Miller, Ruth Kelly Dobby and Sue Kelly Curry; grandson, Kelly Curry and great grandson, J.T. Harper.
She is survived by her son Jim Kelly, of California; daughter Miriam Ann Kelly Green and her husband Raymond, of Alamogordo; and son-in-law Chuck Dobby, of Florida. Willie Pearl also leaves behind her grandchildren, Ray Green, Cindy Green McCollum, Karen Green Helton, Carol Green Leddy, Bennie Miller, Kenny Miller, Jan Miller Bostick, Tina Miller Martin, Robin Curry, Tracy Curry Jett, Misty Curry Hernandez, Cheryl Curry Bunker, Jason Curry and Teala Dobby Green; 28 great-grandchildren; five great-great grandchildren; and brother James Moody, of Dallas.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2007, at the Alamogordo Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Mary Taken officiating.
Pallbearers include Robin Curry, Jason Curry, Ray Green, Matt Green, Catlin Curry and Tanner Curry. Honorary pallbearers are her great- and great-great grandchildren.
Family will greet friends at the Alamogordo Funeral Home from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, 2007.
To sign the online register book, please visit
Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Oct. 17 to Nov. 2, 2007
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