Dawn Kelly was an educator for many years. She loved children and dedicated her professional life to helping youth reach their full potential. Due to health reasons Dawn is no longer able to teach in the classroom, but she is able to teach about prayer and faith whenever she gets the opportunity to do so. Next to God and her family, whom Dawn loves dearly, children are her first love.
Dawn grew up in a very large family with 8 siblings. Her father, Nelson Kelly, died when Dawn was only 6 years old, leaving her mother, Mary Sue Curry Kelly, to raise her 9 children alone. Dawn’s older siblings (Rocky, Channie, Nancy) stepped up and assisted their mom in taking care of the younger siblings. Dawn will quickly tell you, “Through all of my trials and tribulations I have always drawn strength from my hero, my mom. I am her biggest fan.” As a child Dawn saw her mom go through so many hard times but it was her mother’s faith that Dawn remembers the most. Even though they grew up very poor, it was their mom who filled their home with an abundance of love. It was their mom’s prayers and determination that kept their family together during the 60’s after the passing of their father. As Dawn reflected back to that time, she remembered it raining and snowing in the house. They were able to sit in the bedrooms and look outside through the cracks in the wall. She remembers just being extremely cold somedays. But through it all she knew her family loved her and God loved her more. This love was priceless.
Dawn graduated from Shaw University Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She taught in the Wake County Schools and the Guildford County Head Start Program for 10 years. There were times when situations were very difficult for her, causing her to feel defeated in life. It was then she realized God was her provider and her protector. Dawn is adamant that she never would have made it had it not been for her faith in God, her internal determination, and her mom’s prayers. Today Dawn is truly an overcomer.
For many years Dawn has dealt with Diabetes as a high risk patient. Through her faith and determination, once again, she was blessed with a wonderful gift from God her son, Brandon. But wouldn’t you know it, tragedy struck again and in 2002 Dawn found out she had renal failure. In 2003 she had an accident at work which caused her to have her finger amputated. During this time Dawn continued to trust God, maintain her diet, and follow her doctor’s orders. In 2011 she broke her leg and it had to be amputated in 2014. Once again Dawn reached deep inside and drew on her faith in God and her determination making the decision that the amputation didn’t have her, she had it. Against her mom’s advice, Dawn decided she wanted to regain her independence. She decided to drive, something that she was told she could not do again. She hated being so dependent on others. Even today, with her right foot amputated, she still desires to be independent and pushes herself to be as independent as she can.
Dawn is an active member at Clinton Memorial Church of Christ, where she sings in the choir. Her favorite songs are, “I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired” and “Lord Help Me to Hold Out” by James Cleveland.
If there is nothing else that you remember about Dawn Lynette Kelly, she wants you to know that without prayer, faith and determination she would not be the Virtuous Woman of God she is today. She has no regrets of living in the old house as a child or of the sickness she has had to endure. She knows that God has a purpose for her life. She reminds herself daily that “I can do all things through Christ.” In her words, “God paid the ultimate price for little old me, Dawn Kelly.”
I am sad to say that on Saturday July 1,2017 Dawn Lynette Kelly received her wings from God. Dawn "DeeDee" Kelly will be truly missed. She fought a good fight until the end.