Nellie Marie Kelley passed from this life on earth to Heaven to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Monday May 11, 2020.
She was born on September 5, 1931 to Arthur E. Kelley and Florence Matchette Kelley in Dupuyer, Montana. She was the third in a family of five girls. The family moved back to Ibapah, Utah in 1938 where Art Kelley had family and where he had grown up. Art later purchased his family’s ranch in the area and Nellie was his right hand girl. She worked in the hay fields and with the livestock alongside her father and enjoyed this part of her life immensely. Her father, Art, was quite a fiddle player and often played for country dances in the area. Most of Art’s daughters played music also, but Nellie excelled in her gift to play guitar and sing. In her early years she played in many of the small casinos in northern Nevada, she had a passion for music that never left her. Being raised on a ranch, Nellie was a hard worker and held many different jobs over the years. She worked as a taxi driver, laundry truck driver, and for many years she worked for Scolari’s grocery stores in Reno as a stocker. After injuring her back with years of lifting she had back surgery and in her rehabilitation time she went to California and trained to be an equipment operator in the heavy construction business. Nellie worked from 1984 through 1996 for Frehner Construction and Granite Construction both based out of the Reno area. She bought herself a travel trailer and traveled with the construction crew during the work season. She considered her many construction buddies to be a second family to her and she earned their respect as a diligent and trustworthy employee. Nellie was the first woman in the State of Nevada to retire from the Operating Engineers Local Union #3.
Nellie faced many challenges in her life but she never complained, she had a can-do attitude which endeared her to everyone who knew her. She loved to laugh and to make others laugh too. One of her favorite sayings whenever someone would ask her how she was doing she would always say “I’m doing great and if I was any better I would have to set on my hands to keep from clapping!”
Nellie was generous to a fault and would help anyone who had a need whether she knew them or not. She would go without rather than see someone have a need!
Although Nellie was never married and had no children of her own she was the beloved Aunt to all of her many nieces and nephews and to many others who were not related.
She did have a couple of serious boyfriends in her life but she had been so independent in her life that she said that she just had to be her own boss no matter what. She lived her life to the full; she loved to hunt and fish and travel; she worked hard at all of her jobs and enjoyed them all; she loved people and in the last ten years she came to know Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and she loved to go to church and to worship.
Nellie was preceded in death by her parents Art and Florence Kelley; brother-in-law Les Hickman; brother-in-law Vic Long; sister Ruby Hickman; brother-in-law Earl Allred; and sister Melba Long. She is survived by sister and brother-in-law Nola and Buck Hesselgesser of Ogden, UT and sister Jennie Allred of Elko, NV and many nieces and nephews.
A special thanks to the nurses, doctors and staff of the Highland Manor in Elko, Nevada for their loving care for Nellie since March 2018.
Praise the Lord that she now has been delivered from her body of pain after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for the past six years or so. She is now in a place where there is no longer any suffering, pain or sadness and where there is love and joy forevermore!
We love you Nellie and will see you on the other side of the Jordan one day!