Walter Ralph Kelley Jr.

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 21, 2003

Walter Ralph Kelley Jr., of Suffolk, went to be with the Lord on Friday, April 18, 2003, after a lengthy illness in Autumn Care Nursing Home. Mr. Kelley was the oldest son of the late Walter Ralph Kelley Sr. and Thelma Copeland Kelley.

Ralph graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Suffolk in 1956 where he was a member of the marching band and the Bears Varsity Basketball Team. He was an avid sports fan and attended as many sports events as possible. Ralph attended Norfolk State College (University) and was a member of the Spartans Marching Band and a cadet in the Army ROTC. Ralph Jr. had a warm and jovial personality and remained in close contact with family, friends and classmates.

After accepting Christ at an early age, Ralph was an active member for over 50 years at Metropolitan Baptist Church where he remained faithful until his health began to fail.


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Ralph was an employee of the Suffolk Health Department for many years until he retired on disability. Ralph Jr., as he was known by those who worked with him, was respected and loved. He took his job very seriously, always going above and beyond his duty to look out for the welfare of those who worked with him. He was truly a people person.

Ralph Jr. leaves to cherish his memories four brothers, Clifton E. Kelley, Alvin T. Kelly Sr., (Lynda); Ronald M. Kelley (Gail) of Richmond; Gerald O. Kelley (Irene) of Columbia, S.C.; two sisters, Paulette Kelley of Suffolk and a devoted caretaker, Vicky Kelley James (Loyal) of Ahoskie, N.C.; uncles, Robert J. Kelley, Jordan Copeland, and Marvin Copeland (Jessie); and aunt, Jean Cobb of Suffolk; several nieces, nephews, cousins and many other relatives and friends.

The funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. today in Metropolitan Baptist Church by Dr. M.R. Boone. Interment will be in Carver Memorial Cemetery. The family will be at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Marvin Copeland, 1991 Hosier Rd. Crocker Funeral home is handling arrangements.