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Kelly Franklin '94 August 18, 2021 11:28 AM updated: August 18, 2021 11:49 AM

Kelly Janette Raley Franklin
July 12, 1970 - August 14, 2021

Kelly Janette Raley Franklin was born July 12, 1970, in Bay City, Texas to EJ and Pam Raley. Kelly passed away unexpectedly Saturday, August 14, 2021 after an evening of laughter and joy with her family members. Family and friends will gather for visitation from 6 - 8 p.m. on Thursday, August 19th, at Grace Funeral Home, 2401 Houston Hwy in Victoria. A celebration of Kelly’s life and her faith will be held at 10:30AM, Friday, August 20th at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 4102 N. Ben Jordan in Victoria.

As a teenager, Kelly was able to blend into every scene whether it was with the “stoners” or the “preps”. She was a part of the “Victoriadores” for many years and would often recall her favorite memories of her time spent with her team.
Kelly was always up for mischief!

Because of Kelly’s love of the beach and water, she learned to dive and ultimately became a dive master. She graduated from Texas A&M University-Galveston as a “Sea Aggie” earning a degree in Marine Biology. One of the biggest expenses of her college experience was for new tennis shoes. She loved sloshing through the water to discover marine life and lost many a shoe in Galveston waters. Over the years, Kelly enjoyed several diving trips to Cozumel and to Belize. When her dad was her dive buddy, she would scold him for “sucking down his oxygen” too fast and forcing her to return to the dive boat before she was ready. She was an expert on sharks after writing numerous colleges papers on the subject.

Kelly loved adventure. Her nineteenth birthday gift to herself was a bungee jump on Galveston Island. She waited until she had completed the escapade to inform her parents of her plans. Her sister watched on the sidelines and prayed for a “safe landing”.

Kelly was feisty and always ready to fight for her family and friends. She loved telling everyone about the time she fought off two men attempting a home invasion. And also about the time when she was a waitress at “Crawdaddy’s” and defended her friend in a bar fight.

Kelly enjoyed helping people. She spent many years working as a Child Protective Service case worker and an Adult Protective Service case worker, and a CASA child advocate. She was a fierce defender of any child that was being mistreated. Kelly admired the work of her sister, Kim Pickens. She often helped deliver food to those in need. She never just dropped it off but took the time to visit and make everyone feel special.

When Kelly decided to change career paths, she worked alongside her mom in an accounting firm. She found that she was really good at solving tax issues. Her engaging banter charmed many IRS agents into making a favorable settlement. In 2014, Kelly opened her own bookkeeping service, earned her Enrolled Agent designation, and continued to assist clients with their taxes and with IRS problems.

Kelly had the gift of gab like her dad. She always had a funny story and could make you laugh in the worst of times. If you called anytime of day and needed her she would drop everything and come to your aide.

Kelly was preceded in death by her parental grandparents, EJ and Mary Raley; maternal grandparents, Albert “Sonny” and Ilene Dentler; cousin, Lana Moore Smith; and her brother-in-law, Raj Pickens.

Kelly cherished her children, Skye, David (Jade) and Reece; and her grandchildren, Haven Raine and Stella Rose. She loved her “adopted” children, Carsyn, Mason, Joey and Jabe. She was always eager to take them to concerts, the beach or a theme park. She is also survived by her parents; her sister, Kim Raley Pickens; her nephews, William, Diego, EliJah, Judah and Arun Pickens; aunts and uncles, Frances Raley, Julie Galban, James and Doris Raley and Phil and Sandra Raley; several cherished cousins and a multitude of friends.

Memorial donations are requested to the gofundme account set up “Remembering Kelly: Supporting her girls” to support and assist her family going forward.

Thoughts and memories may be shared online at

Arrangements and services under the personal care of Grace Funeral Homes & Cemeteries.

©Grace Funeral Homes & Cemeteries.

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