Mrs. Rosa Lee Kendrick Kelley, 61 of St. Marys passed away at her residence on Tuesday July 29th, 2008 with her beloved husband Jeff by her side.
Rosa Lee Kendrick Kelley was born in Griffin, GA in 1946 to Walter C. Kendrick and Rosa Lee Justice Kendrick who are now both deceased. She was a 1964 graduate of Griffin High School. Her father was a nurseryman. Rosa Lee loved Camellias and Zinnias. Rosa Lee attended the Women’s College of Georgia. She married Jeff in 1968. Matthew, their son, was born in 1969 in Key West, FL, and followed eight years later by another son Patrick, born in Scotland. Rosa Lee and Jeff retired at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in 1987.
Rosa Lee’s great passion was supporting Matthew and Patrick. A book written about her and that support would span several volumes. Matthew left the Camden schools to attend Emory University and Purdue University, where he earned his Ph.D. His wife Julie (Ph.D.) and son Ambrose (Rosa Lee’s source of great happiness for two years) complete the family. Patrick graduated as Valedictorian from Camden High and attended Harvard University. He is a graduate student at the University of California, Davis. Patrick makes it very clear that Rosa Lee was the reason he turned to science.
Rosa Lee was the ultimate volunteer, particularly in our schools and in all Cub and Boy Scout programs. Over 23 years, she was a Room Mother, held several PTA positions, and was one of the founders and subsequent President/Co-President of the Camden County High School Academic Booster Club. She was Chair of the Harvard Club of Georgia Parent Committee. Her reputation preceded her. She gave that same devotion and energy to Scouting. She was a trained scouter, helping train other adults, all the while working with young scouts in every skill imaginable. She went on camping trips, using her ‘One-person’ tent that would really sleep four. You could always find a scout close to her, reviewing, checking records, or just talking. Rosa Lee could ‘just talk’ with anyone.
In the middle of her volunteer activities, Rosa Lee opened Once Upon…a Bookseller in St. Marys. The store has changed owners and locations, but the name has remained, and Rosa Lee always took great pleasure in seeing the name on the oval-shaped sign that she helped design.
In 1987, Rosa Lee began a book about Camden County, but put it aside for other priorities until early 2003. Rosa Lee and her friend Sharon Peeples Bowen began to research and write. In the last few months, Rosa Lee never quit. The BOOK was nearly finished, and she knew it. Seeing it so close was more important than getting Dickey peaches for delivery to all her many friends or the chance to ride the roads of Cabin Bluff with the ‘Real Women.’ The book will be completed and dedicated to Rosa Lee. Its title? Thankful For These Our Many Blessings . . .
Rosa Lee will be lovingly remembered, sorely missed and never forgotten.
Rosa Lee’s family would be grateful if you would consider donations in lieu of flowers and cards to either Hospice of Southeast Georgia or the American Cancer Society.