September 30, 1928 – January 27, 2023
Emily Finklea Kelly, 94 years of age, passed away on January 27, 2023. Emily was born and raised in Monroeville, Alabama. She attended Ward Belmont Junior College (Belmont University) in Nashville, TN for her senior year of high school and 2 years of college, being very active in their music program. In 1950 Emily received a degree in Medical Technology from the Franklin School of Science and Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Emily moved to Bennettsville, SC after accepting a job at Marlboro General Hospital. It was here that she met and married Bill Odom, moving to Chapel Hill where they lived 4 years while Bill attended Dental School, then returning to Bennettsville where Bill worked and they raised their three girls. After Bill’s death in 1965 Emily married Ralph Kelly, attorney. Ralph passed away in 2008. Emily moved to Charlotte, NC in 2020 to live with her daughter (Diane) and son- in –law.
Emily was a very active member of the First United Methodist Church, serving on the Altar Guild and playing the piano for her Sunday school class. She spent 11 years as a Girl Scout Leader, highlights being camping and attending the 1965 New York World’s fair with 21 seventh graders (described as memorable). Emily was a member of the VA Alleghany Chapter of the DAR with her daughter Phyllis. Emily enjoyed being with her family and living in Bennettsville with her friends and neighbors. She especially loved when her girls were able to get together with her. Emily enjoyed gardening, nature, science and traveling, having visited 44 of the US states and going on adventures with church friends to Canada and Europe.
Emily is preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Evelyn Finklea, husband Bill Odom and husband Ralph Kelly. She is survived by her daughters Phyllis Odom Eschenmann (Kurt), Diane Odom Jackson-Szymczyk (Roger), Sharon Odom Infinger (Marvin), 6 Grandchildren (Ashley, Chris, Graham, Miller, Emily and Charlotte), and 9 Great Grandchildren (Olivia, William, Maggie, Pierce, Ace, Grant, Scott, Ada and Charlotte).
Family and friends will be notified of a Memorial Service to be held in Bennettsville, SC at a later date. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church in Bennettsville.