Celebrating the life of Dortha Kelley
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Dortha was born October 19, 1912 in Amorita, Oklahoma and was the daughter of John Fern Swaim and his wife, Myrtle Bruner. Both parents died
when Dortha was nine years old and she, her sisters and a brother were raised by neighbors of the family, Tom and Lillie Hansbro.
Dortha graduated from high school in Amorita and taught in a one-room school house in Byron for a period of time. after she completed her degree in education from Northwestern and taught school in Minturn, Colorado, Rocky and Burns Flat, Oklahoma.
Following the outbreak of World War II, Dortha met Lowell Eugene Kelley who had recently returned from serving with the Army in the North Africa and Italy campaigns. They were married on June 1, 1946 in Amorita. They farmed in the Dill City area and after a stint in Colorado, Lowell was appointed Postmaster of Rocky where they made their home. On his retirement in 1980 they moved to Cordell. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and an Eastern Star.
Survivors include two daughters, Ada Katghleen Lowell and husband Ron of Altus; Linda Nell Browning and her husband David also of Altus. One sister, Ruby Nell Cutright of Cherokee, Oklahoma. Four grandchildren, Angela Nebling and husband John of Rogers, Arkansas; Kelly Lowell and his wife Stacie of Millington, Tennessee; David Browning of Clinton, Oklahoma; Deanna Moore and husband Marty of Hollis. Also surviving are thirteen great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband Lowell Kelley in 1996; her parents, Fern and Myrtle Swaim, foster parents, Tom and Lillie Hansbro; one sister, Thelma Hess; two brothers, Harry Sawyer and an infant brother.
The casket will lie in state at Lowell-Tims Funeral Home in Altus until the day of the service and then at the First Presbyterian Church in Cordell until service time.
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First Presbyterian Church
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