Sarah Irene Sykes-Kelly was born August 13, 1934 to Carl Lewis Sykes and Sarah L. Porter-Sykes. She departed this life on May 6, 2018 at Londyn’s Bridge in Oxford, North Carolina where she enjoyed nearly the last eight years of her life.
She retired from Villa Marie Clair Senior Residence by Sisters of Joseph Peace in Saddle River, New Jersey in 1997. There the residents and Nuns loved her dearly.
Irene was united in holy matrimony to the late Waverly Kelley on September 21, 1957 on the front porch of the family home in Hackensack, New Jersey. They resided in Hackensack, New Jersey for more than thirty years until relocating to Emporia, Virginia.
She attended Greenville County Public Schools in Emporia, Virginia. At an early age, Irene gave her life to Christ and became a member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Freeman, Virginia. Upon relocating to Hackensack, New Jersey she joined Trinity Baptist Church where she served as Senior Usher. Also, while residing in Hackensack, New Jersey she became a Daughter of Elk of the IBOPE of W, Majestic Temple #215.
Irene loved her family dearly, and although she had no biological children, she was indeed a loving mother and grandmother to not only her stepchildren and grands, but also to her vast number of nieces and nephews.
Irene leaves to cherish her memories two step-sons, Bobby O Kelley (Wanda) of Baltimore, MD and Sylvania Kelley (Evelyn) of Puerto Rico; step daughter, Marjorie Kelley of MD; nine step-grandchildren: two sisters, Sallie E. Brown of Hackensack, New Jersey and Reverend Patricia Barbour (Charles) of Richmond, Virginia: three nieces, Cynthia Thornton, Latissa Ann Brown and Brenda Pettiford: two loving Godchildren, Gwendolyn Dixon and Derrick Moore and a host of other loving relatives and friends. In addition to her husband she is preceded in death by her oldest sister Ruth Anna Jackson and stepson Eric Wright.
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