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Mary Margaret Kelley

Big Stone Gap, Va.-Mary Margaret Kelley, age 76, died peacefully in her home in Big Stone Gap, VA on October 9, 2021.
Mary was born July 26, 1945 to Robert Hurt Porter and Margaret Kyle Porter and grew up in West Helena, AR. She graduated from Central High School in Helena, AR in 1963 and from the University of Tennessee Memphis dental hygiene program in 1967. In Memphis, Mary met her husband, Dr. Gerald B. Kelley, to whom she was happily married for 53 years. Mary and Gerald (Doc/Herb) Kelley moved to Wise County in 1973 where they were pioneers in shifting the focus of dentistry from reactive care to preventative education. As the first dental hygienist in Wise County, many deep friendships blossomed out of her love of teaching her patients about preventative dental care and witnessing her love of Jesus Christ.
Mary was known by all as an exceptional cook and was blessed with the gift of hospitality that she shared with friends and family far and wide. She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Big Stone Gap and enjoyed volunteering at the John Fox Jr. House and playing bridge in a local bridge club, where she met many lifelong friends.
Mary (Monnie) is survived by Gerald Kelley of Big Stone Gap; her daughter, Leta Kelley of Piney Flats, TN and special friend John Hall, Jr.; her son, Adam Kelley and his wife Stephanie of Jacksonville, FL; grandchildren, Danielle Kelley, Even Hals, and Maia Hals.
Mary will be laid to rest in the American Legion Cemetery in Powell Valley in a private ceremony. She has requested that all who wish to remember her, please make donations to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital ( or donate blood and platelets to your local blood bank. A special thank you to all the staff at the Southwest Virginia Cancer Center for their exceptional care. Condolences may be sent to the family at
TIME IS too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice. But for those who love, time is ETERNITY. Hours fly, flowers die, new days and new ways pass by… love stays.
Gilliam Funeral Home and Crematory is honored to serve the Kelley family.

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