Bob Kelley

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Funeral services for Mr. Bob Kelley will be held Thursday, August 24, at 11 a.m. at Robert Barham Family Funeral Home with Dr. Raymon Leake of First Baptist Church of Meridian and Pastor Greg DeVries of The Well FWC of Scottsboro, Alabama officiating.

Burial will follow at Magnolia Cemetery with Robert Barham Family Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements.

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Mr. Kelley, age 92, of Meridian, passed away Sunday, August 20, at Anderson Regional Medical Center.

Mr. Kelley was born in Chicago, Illinois, and he was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a submariner in the Navy and served at Pearl Harbor immediately after the bombing.

After serving his country, he moved to Meridian as a seed salesman, where he discovered his gifting.

Not long after moving to Meridian, he started working for Newell Paper Company, where he served as one of the top producing salesman for fifty-three years.

He won more promotional contests on products than any other salesman at Newel Paper Company.

Among his other careers, he worked for J.C. Green Steel Erection Services as a crane operator in the 1970’s.

In his early years, he trained Tennessee Walking horses and hitched rides by holding onto the back of trucks on his roller skates in New Orleans.

Mr. Kelley satisfied his entrepreneurial longing by establishing Jump Town (Trampoline Park) in Highland Park in Meridian.

He also taught springboard diving and gymnastics, and he also serviced residential and commercial pools in Meridian for many years.

Mr. Kelley loved Jesus, his family, and his many, many friends. He was an avid fisherman, enjoying both freshwater and saltwater fishing. He was a frequent diner at Jean’s Restaurant, Spaceway Truck Plaza, and McDonald’s Restaurant (coffee club). He was a member of First Baptist Church of Meridian.

Survivors include his daughters, Karla Strahan of Carriere, Mississippi and Deni Adkins of Scottsboro; grandchildren, Bekah Hedgpeth of Longview, Texas, Sarah Wiens of Cudahy, Wisconsin, and Zach Adkins of Scottsboro; sister, Elaine Mateyko of Metairie, Louisiana; sister-in-law, Deborah Martin of Meridian; nieces, Linda Ozier of Metairie and Kristen Martin of Meridian; nephew, Joe Cliff Martin of Hattiesburg; and numerous cousins.

He was met at Heaven’s gates by his wife of forty-six years, Barbara Jo; daughters, Mona Belcher and Robin Kelley; his son-in-law, Ron Adkins; and his mother, Adele Kelley.

In addition to flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Kitchen Ministry of First Baptist Church of Meridian.

Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at

Visitation will be held Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. at Robert Barham Family Funeral Home.