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Obituary: Norma Jean Kelly

Norma Jean Kelly, 82, of Wilmington and formerly of Kelly passed gently from her earthly life on Sunday, June 23, 2019.

She was born December 1, 1936 in Lenoir County, NC, the daughter of the late Kirby C. and Nannie Lee Stroud Carlyle. Norma Jean was preceded in death by her beloved husband, McNeil Kelly; six brothers and four sisters.

Norma Jean is survived by her daughters, Debra “Debbie” Jean Palermo (Roger) and Gail Ferretti; son, Jerry Lloyd Kelly; grandchildren, Melody Clayton (Alex), Michael Von “Trey” Strickland III (Michaela); Joshua Kelly, Christopher Kelly, and Sarah Ferretti; five great grandchildren; and many extended family and friends.

She was a faithful longtime member of Centerville Baptist Church where she taught Sunday school and children’s church for many years. Most recently while living in Wilmington, Norma Jean joined Pine Valley Baptist Church. For 22 years, Norma Jean was a teacher assistant at East Arcadia Elementary School.

Norma Jean, a lady filled with grace, caring and smiles loved her family above all else. Being a devoted wife and a “mother hen” to her three children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, Norma Jean was an outstanding homemaker. She created a home filled with good cooking, sunshine and a welcome to all who entered.  Norma Jean’s sweet, sweet spirit is cherished and will live forever in our hearts.

The family will receive friends  at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, June 27, 2019 at Centerville Baptist Church, 18577 NC Hwy 53 E, Kelly, NC with service beginning at 12:00 p.m. in the church sanctuary. The Rev. Allen Murray and The Rev. Bryan Blackwell will conduct the service. Burial will follow in Garden of Memories Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be given to Garden of Memories Cemetery, c/o Jeff and Pam Huff, 19738 NC Hwy 53 E, Kelly, NC 28448.

Shared memories and condolences may be sent to the family at

A service of Quinn-McGowen Funeral Home Burgaw Chapel.

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