Harold C. “Hardwood” Kelly, 91, died May 21, 2015, at his home in Yazoo City. Visitation will be Saturday, May 23, 2015, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, followed by the funeral at 2:30, also at the church. Reverend Bill Poole will preside over the funeral service. The burial will occur the following day, Sunday, May 24, in Ecru, MS, all under the direction of Strickland-King Funeral Home.
Mr. Kelly was born on September 4, 1923, in Burns, MS, to Enos Guy Kelly and Mae Winstead Kelly. He served in Italy in WWII, specifically in the mountainous Monte Casino campaign, where he was a muleskinner. He also played basketball at Ole Miss for three years (1945-1948).
Kelly (BS ’48, MA ’51) enjoyed a 40-year education career, which began in Batesville in 1948. It continued in Yazoo City, where he ascended the ranks from junior high teacher and coach to superintendent of the Yazoo City Municipal School District. Before retiring in 1988, he was active in the Mississippi Education Association, American Association of School Administrators, and Council of Educational Facility Planners. At Ole Miss he served on the Alumni Association’s executive committee, Yazoo Alumni Club, Education Alumni Chapter board, Education Advisory Board, and Education Order. A member of the M-Club, he received the Contributions to Amateur Football award from the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame’s Ole Miss chapter. He was UM’s Education Alumnus of the Year in 1991. In addition, he received the Alumni Service Award in 2007. Kelly was also a longtime member of the Yazoo Rotary Club, and was a former president and Paul Harris Fellow. He was the recipient of the Civitan Outstanding Citizen award in 1970 and was included in Who’s Who in the South and Southwest 1973-74 edition.
Mr. Kelly was preceded in death by his parents Enos and Mae Kelly; brother Hollis Kelly; and sister Adelle Kelly Everitt. He is survived by his wife of sixty-three years, Hannah Pitts Kelly; nephew Mike Nesbitt (Nancy) of Memphis, TN; niece Carol Clendenon of Clinton; grand-nephews Ben Nesbitt (Judy Lynn) of Oxford, Clay Clendenon of Katy, TX, Casey Clendenon, also of Katy, TX; and grand-niece Kelly Waggoner (Marcus) of Kingwood, TX.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to be made to First United Methodist Church, Yazoo City, MS, or to the Ole Miss Foundation.