Plant Memorial Trees
Monday, September 11, 2023
10:00 - 11:00am (Eastern time)
Delores Carol (Gladden) Kelly, aged 81, was welcomed to her eternal home on September 6th, 2023. Left to remember and celebrate her here on Earth are her loving husband and best friend, Randy Kelly of Walnut Cove, NC; her son, Tim Gladden (Donna) of Kernersville, NC; her son, Gary Cook (Angie) of Kernersville, NC; her daughter, Dawn Hall (Richie) of Kernersville, NC; her daughter, Nikki McCormick (Rocky) of Kernersville, NC; her daughter, Liz Kelly of Willow River, MN; 13 grandchildren who adore her (Samantha, Heather, Katie, Zack, Jasmine, Hannah, Leah, Helena, Ruby, Drake, Sierra, Ben and Ava); and 1 great granddaughter, Rose. We want the world to know and remember her deep love of family, her infectious laugh and quick wit, her grit and determination. We want you to know that second only to family was her love of gardening and working outside in the dirt or fishing on the banks of her favorite river. She was a woman who truly loved the simple things and couldn’t be bothered with materialism.
It’s difficult to put into words who Carol was to those of us around her… how to properly convey the life experiences that made her the one-of-a-kind person she was. Maybe if we told you about how she would work in the cafeteria as a 7th grader and then sneak out after her “shift” to walk home and enjoy a home cooked meal while she watched Tennessee Ernie Ford on TV. Or maybe it was when she was 4 years old and diagnosed with Bright’s Disease and was restricted from having sugar, but instead decided to crawl under the Thanksgiving dessert table and enjoy a few finger swipes of the chocolate iced cake.
Or maybe it was when she was a single mom and trying to keep her family afloat, so she took on multiple jobs to make ends meet, never once complaining or making excuses. Or maybe it was when she was in her late teens riding a bus alone from West Virginia to North Carolina and found herself being catcalled by a man in his Navy blues and told him in front of the entire bus that he was “nothing but a blowhard sailor”.
Or maybe it was when she was in her twenties and working as a server at a restaurant in an area that still practiced segregation and risked her job to let a little girl use the bathroom in the “whites only” facilities because it was the right thing to do. Or maybe it was when she looked each of her teenaged children in the eyes and said, “I don’t care where you are, who you’re with or what you’re doing… if you find yourself in a bad situation and need a ride home, just call me. I’ll come get you without asking a single question.” And then proved she meant what she said multiple times. Or maybe it was all those Thanksgivings when she made everyone’s favorite dessert or oyster stuffing or dill vegetables. Or when she sewed our Halloween costumes by hand. Or when she stayed up all night on that book report. Or when her laugh would fill the room. Or when she would slide politics into all of the holiday gatherings. Or when she would hug you so tight you knew she’d never let go if you’d just stay there a little longer. Or how she could talk for hours about the plants in her yard and identify trees like a seasoned professional. Or how she could make an entire meal from just odds and ends in the cabinet and fridge.. and it would be delicious every single time.
It’s really all of those things, isn’t it? That’s our Carol. That’s our wife, mom, Memaw, best friend and now our Angel. Rest now. You worked hard and did what you were sent to do. We will carry you in our hearts until we meet again. Graveside services will be held at 10am on Monday, September 11th, 2023 at Crestview Memorial Park, 6850 University Parkway, Rural Hall, NC 27045. Flowers and memorials may be sent to Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home, 305 Bethania-Rural Hall Rd., Rural Hall, NC 27045.