Dorothy Ann Kelley née Terry, 76, of Grafton, Ohio, loving wife, mother of two, and dear friend of many, passed away after a long illness on Saturday, May 8, 2021. Mrs. Kelley was born on August 8, 1944 in Ganado, Arizona, into the Kinłichíi’nii (Red House Clan), for the Mą'ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass Clan), daughter and oldest of seven to the late Dolph and Mattie Terry (née Bitsilly).
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by husband Gale, stepson Daniel Kelley, brothers Michael Terry, Nelson Terry, Randy (Ruth surviving) Terry, Pete (Katie surviving) Terry and brother-in-law Gary Kelley. She is survived by her son Michael Kelley, daughter Michelle Kelley, devoted fur babies Khloe and Bo and grand fur kitty Maya.
Also surviving Mrs. Kelley is her brother Al (Ruth) Terry and sister Charlene Kelley and several nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews, extended family in Arizona and New Mexico and many close friends.
Dorothy grew up on the Navajo Nation in Greasewood Springs, Arizona. She attended many boarding schools as a child and fluently spoke the Navajo language. She was proud of her Navajo heritage and loved reminiscing about her childhood memories of jumping over rattlesnakes and squashing frogs and her devotion to her pet goat Blackjack. She graduated in 1962 from Holbrook High School, in Holbrook, Arizona. She then attended Grace College of Cosmetology in Middleburg Heights, Ohio where she met and eventually married her true love Gale Kelley. In 1968, she introduced her younger sister Charlene to her husband Gale’s brother Gary and they eventually married.
Dorothy was a wonderful woman that was loved, is missed, and will always be cherished. She loved to cook especially for her friends and family. She had an extensive cookbook collection and was renowned for her cooking and baking skills. Dorothy, "Dottie" as her co-workers would call her, held many positions during her lifetime including beautician, manager of the wig department in the 1970’s at K-Mart to working quality control at companies like Samsung and Grinnell/Tyco, of where she eventually retired at the age of 62. In her younger years, she was very crafty learning the new trends including crochet, macramé, beading and making dream catchers. She loved to read and owned well over 2,000 books. She loved to collect Native American art and pottery. She was a very generous woman who donated to many Native American charities and would give the shirt off of her back (or designer purse) to you if you asked. She loved to go to casinos and play the nickel slots, one time winning $5,000 which she happily shared with her friends and family. Upon retirement Dorothy and her husband travelled throughout the Great Plains, Rocky Mountain region and visited her Navajo Nation homeland, her siblings and extended relatives. She made trips to Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, Crazy Horse Monument in South Dakota, and Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Chinle, Arizona. She traveled to many areas of the United States, her favorites being a vacation in Hawaii with her husband’s Aunt Mary and childhood trips to the Grand Canyon.
Duke Funeral Home in Grafton, Ohio is handling cremation. In consideration of the Covid-19 public health crisis, the surviving family has decided to not hold a formal funeral service. To honor Dorothy and her late husband Gale Lee Kelley, who passed away on August 11, 2020, a private scattering of ashes ceremony will be planned for a later date in the wild, wild west.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dorothy Ann Kelley, please visit our floral store.