Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Mary V. Kelley, 94

Mary V. Kelley, 94, died on January 19, 2021. She was born on October 28, 1926, in McComb, Mississippi to the late Henry and Bitha Rockco Cook. She married Benjamin F. Kelley on August 24, 1945, and they had a beautiful marriage lasting almost 73 years until Ben’s death in 2018. She is survived by sons Benjamin Kelley, Jr., of Montgomery, Alabama, Bruce (Peggy) Kelley of Batesville, Arkansas, and John (Gretchen) Kelley of Cassopolis, Michigan, sister- in-laws Bettie Sue Sage of Tremont, Illinois, and Ardette Cook of Lenoir, North Carolina, brothers Jerry Cook of Mobile, Alabama, and Jimmy Cook of Gulfport, Mississippi, and sister Shirley Farmer of Pascagoula Mississippi. She was blessed with nine grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her sisters Mamie Moore and Jean Canaday, brothers James, John, and Jack, daughter-in-law Kathy Kelley, two great-grandchildren, Kathryn and Micah Kelley and grandson Benjamin Kelley.

Mary graduated from high school in Pascagoula, Mississippi.  She attended William Jewel College until Ben became a Chaplain in the U.S. Air Force and later graduated from Chapman College. She lived all over the world with Ben. She was an elementary and special needs teacher and taught school in France, California, Florida, Nebraska, Iceland, Arkansas and South Korea. Ben and Mary were a great ministry team serving others through their love for the Lord. They belonged to the First Baptist Church in Jacksonville.

The family would like to thank all of the staff at Fox Ridge and Arkansas Hospice for the loving care they gave to Mary.  Due to COVID, a celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers the family prefers donations be made to the First Baptist Church or a charity of your choice.

Arrangements entrusted to A Natural State Funeral Service, 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400


  • Fran Johnson Posted January 25, 2021 1:53 AM

    First time I met Mary she said “Hi I’m Mary you know like Mary Mary quit contrary “ .She had a sweet quiet spirit that made you fall In love with her. She and Ben are rejoicing in Heaven now but will forever be in our hearts. Your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Sheryl Roberts Posted January 25, 2021 4:12 PM

    One of the sweetest and most appreciative women I know. She always did her best to give you a smile and an ear to listen. She will be greatly missed. May the prayers and memories of friends help bring comfort to her family!

  • Lisa Duckworth Posted January 26, 2021 9:33 AM

    Mary used to travel with us in our Good Sams Chapter. She loved playing cards and talking to people. I never heard her say a cross word to anyone. She was always so proud of Ben and her sons. She touched so many lives. We are going to truly miss her bright spirit. Her and Ben are together now.

  • Ted Cook Posted January 29, 2021 7:19 AM

    So sorry for your loss. Aunt Mary was a ray of sunshine in this dark world.

  • Jackie Cook Whipple and Darrell Whipple Posted February 2, 2021 11:33 AM

    Aunt Mary and Uncle Ben were very special Folks. They loved the Lord, families, doing ministry together, camping & family time. They were so proud of their sons/families. What a great legacy.

  • Peggy Jacobs Posted February 11, 2021 12:57 PM

    So glad to have known Mr. & Mrs. Kelley and John & Gretchen through work. Mary was a very, very nice lady and a pleasure to be around.

Sign Guestbook

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Phone: (501) 982-3400
Fax: (501) 982-3410
2620 West Main Street
Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076