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William "WO" Kelly III '59 May 20, 2020 12:04 PM updated: May 20, 2020 12:35 PM

William Otis Kelly III
JULY 10, 1937 – FEBRUARY 17, 2020

William Otis Kelly, Ill, better known as "WO", escaped his worn out body on Monday, February 17, 2020, after eight plus decades. His new residence is Heaven. His thoughts are now coherent, and his spirit is renewed.

A service of celebration and thanksgiving in remembrance of WO will take place on Friday, February, 21, 2020 at 2:00 P.M. at North Richland Hills Baptist Church, 6955 Boulevard 26, North Richland Hills, TX. A visitation with the family is planned at Shannon Rose Hill Funeral Home, 7301 East Lancaster, Fort Worth, from 6:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M. on Thursday, February 20, 2020.

WO, a native of Fort Worth, was born prematurely on July 10, 1937, to William "Bill" Otis Kelly, Jr. and Georgia Eathul Montgomery Kelly. He was a cherished only child who had an enchanted childhood riding his pony Blackie on White Lake Dairy land, playing baseball on the White Lake Dairy Mustangs, and rebuilding old cars. His dad operated White Lake Dairy, whose slogan was "You can whip our cream but you can't beat our milk."

WO attended Meadowbrook Elementary and Junior High Schools and Polytechnic High School, where he graduated in 1955, and where he met his future wife, Johnnie Patricia Ann Holcomb, who became his bride on January 27, 1959 and, over the years, became the mother of their three children, Laurie, Michael, and DeDe.

In the fall of 1955, WO enrolled in Texas A&M at College Station, graduating in 1959, the first of a number of Kellys who earned degrees from A&M and became proud Aggies. Once an Aggie, always an Aggie. BTHOT WO's degree in Business and Mechanical Engineering served him well throughout his life. For many years WO worked in the commercial heating and air conditioning field. He finished the last twenty-five years in his own business Mech Tech Sales focusing on underground insulated pipe in commercial jobs. Along the way WO made many friends, held a number of leadership positions, and earned numerous sales awards.

People loved WO. He was great fun, and he loved to make people laugh. In short, he loved people, and they loved him back. After the death of WO's wife JoAnn in 2001, (he had married JoAnn in 1978), WO's life focus began to change. He became involved in a Bible Study Class at North Richland Hills Baptist Church. He was their coffee-making guy and number one greeter, a perfect job for WO Kelly. It was in this class that he met, romanced, and married his present love. Beth Pepin, a widow, became Beth Kelly, the newlywed. This marriage of two very different personalities was sheer perfection, a great love affair and a perfect friendship. Shortly before their wedding in June 2010, WO publicly professed his faith in Christ and was baptized at North Richland Hills Baptist Church. In the years following, he came to understand what it means to follow Jesus Christ in a daily walk. He became a different man, still great fun, but different.

WO Kelly is survived by his wife Beth; his daughter Laurie Kelly McClure and husband Brent, their children Max and Lily McClure and great grandsons Jackson and Teddy, Alex and Mary McClure, Madison McClure Pomroy and Jacob Pomroy; John Michael Kelly and wife Jessica, their children Colton and Clayton; and DeDe Kelly Grizzard and husband Russell, their children Russell Wayne and Sarah Grizzard and great granddaughter Allie Belle, and Stephanie Grizzard. He is also survived by stepson Tillman Gilley, the son of JoAnn Gilley Kelly, WO's wife, who died in 2001; and Beth's children and grandchildren: Rory Manning, J.B. and Lisa Manning and Madison, Cam, and Cade. Many other dear people survive whom WO called "friends" survive this precious man, God's special creation. He will be sorely missed.

Memorials may be made to Gospel Harvesters International, 1215 Woodland Park Dr, Hurst. Notes of condolence may be sent to Beth Kelly, 8009 Davis Blvd, Apt 4302, North Richland Hills, TX 76182.

Visitation Thursday, February 20, 2020
Celebration of Life Friday, February 21, 2020


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