Mary Margaret Kelley | Obituary


BIG STONE GAP, VA – Mary Margaret Kelley, 76, passed away peacefully in her Big Stone Gap, VA home on October 9, 2021.

Mary was born July 26, 1945 to Robert Hurt Porter and Margaret Kyle Porter and raised in West Helena, AR. She graduated from Central High School in Helena, AR in 1963 and from the Dental Hygiene Program at the University of Tennessee in Memphis in 1967. In Memphis, Mary met her husband, Dr. Gerald B. Kelley, with whom she has been married for 53 years. Mary and Gerald (Doc / Herb) Kelley moved to Wise County in 1973, where they pioneered in shifting the focus of dentistry from reactive care to preventive education. As Wise County’s first dental hygienist, many deep friendships grew out of her love of teaching her patients preventative dental care and showing her love for Jesus Christ.

Mary was known to all as an exceptional cook and was blessed with the gift of hospitality she shared with friends and family everywhere. She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Big Stone Gap and enjoyed volunteering at John Fox Jr. House and playing bridge at a local bridge club, where she met many longtime friends.

Mary (Monnie) is survived by Gerald Kelley of Big Stone Gap; his daughter, Leta Kelley of Piney Flats, TN and her special friend John Hall, Jr .; his son, Adam Kelley and his wife Stephanie of Jacksonville, FL; grandchildren, Danielle Kelley, Even Hals and Maia Hals.

Mary will be buried in the American Legion Cemetery in Powell Valley in a private ceremony. She asked anyone who wishes to remember her to donate to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital ( or to donate blood and plasma to your local blood bank. Special thanks to all the staff at the Southwest Virginia Cancer Center for their exceptional care. Condolences can be sent to the family at [email protected]

TIME IS too slow for those who wait, too fast for those who fear, too long for those who cry, too short for those who rejoice. But for those who love, time is ETERNITY. Hours pass, flowers die, new days and new ways pass… love remains.

Gilliam Funeral Home and Crematory is honored to serve the Kelley family.


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