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Llewella Decking Kelly

ROANOKE RAPIDS – Llewella Decking Kelly, age 82 of 1361 Carolina Rest Home Road, Roanoke Rapids, passed away March 10 at her beloved Carolina Rest Home after four months of illness. At the time of her passing, she was surrounded by her family, friends, and staff.

She was born in Colerain, NC to Rev. Loy Pierce and Annie Lyon Pierce; and she had five siblings:  Chad, Ola, Raleigh, Rose and Steve. She graduated from Manteo High School in Manteo, NC and continued her education at Draughn Business School in Greenville, SC as well as the North Carolina Long-Term Care Association.

Llewella was well-known throughout eastern North Carolina for her outstanding contribution in health care, serving as the administrator of Carolina Rest Home for 27 years as well as regional director for Pierce Management Group for several assisted living facilities in the region. She was licensed and certified by the State of North Carolina for long-term care management. Prior to returning to her native North Carolina, Llewella and her family spent 20 years in California where she was employed by Montgomery Ward Company.

She was awarded several recognitions throughout her illustrious career. Most notably, she received the SHARP Award from the North Carolina Department of Labor Occupational Health and Safety Administration. The award, rarely given because of the rigorous standards required by its recipients, has only been presented to two assisted living facilities in North Carolina in its history; and Carolina Rest Home, managed by Llewella, has received it for seven consecutive years. Additionally, in 2009, she received the UNSUNG HERO award for her dedicated and conspicuous service to the Roanoke Rapids community. Llewella was active in many local charitable and religious organizations.  She was a member of New Testament Christian Church in Roanoke Rapids, a fellowship she dearly loved.

Llewella is survived by her husband, Rod Kelly of Roanoke Rapids; her daughter, Inge Flynn Smith of Roanoke Rapids; her daughter, Genia and her son-in-law, Jack Engelstad of El Cajon, California; her “heart” daughter Audrey and her husband Ben Wheeler of Conway; and three sons, Tim and wife Debbie, Jeff and wife Terry Jo, and Danny and wife Kathy, all from Cartersville, GA. She is also survived by nine grandchildren and affectionately called “Nanny” by Ella Ruth, her youngest, and six great grandchildren. Finally, she is survived by her brother, Steve Pierce of Kernersville, NC and her sister, Rose Stone, of Dunn, NC

She was preceded in death by two daughters, Ruthie Bolling of Roanoke Rapids and Jan Ruth of Cartersville, GA as well as her former husband and father of her three daughters, Tom Decking of Roanoke Rapids.  Additionally, she is preceded by her three siblings,  her two brothers, Chad Pierce of Ahoskie and Raleigh Pierce of Benson, NC, and her sister, Ola Barbour of Elon College, NC.

A celebration of her life and home-going will be held Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at New Testament Christian Church in Roanoke Rapids  conducted by her pastor, the Rev. Dale Morris, her grandson, the Rev. Joshua Kelly, and her brother-in-law, the Rev. Dr. Reginald Stone. The visitation will be held Tuesday evening at Hockaday Funeral Home from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. where the family will receive friends. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.hockadayfs.com.

Her family wishes to thank all who have expressed their sympathy for their loss. Her life can be summed up as love for her family, friends, residents, and staff; her life-long dedicated service to her community; and her quiet personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.