Thurman Pierce Kelley 7,8
- Born: May 19, 1915, Marlow, Stephens County, Oklahoma
- Marriage: Hazel Grace McFarland on Feb 11, 1939 in Washington, D.C.
- Died: Sep 6, 2006, Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana at age 91
A devout Christian, he attends Church as often as he can. He began his law-enforcement profession in the late 1930s.
Thurman Pierce Kelley is a rare individual. He is the type of man that you would trust without any reservation (emphasis on "any"). In my lifetime, I've never been more impressed with the character of any man more than I am with my grandpa Kelley!
Funeral services for former Chief of Police Thurman P. Kelley will be held Wednesday, September 13th at 11:30am at the Rose-Neath Southside Funeral Home.
Officiating will be Rev. Sonny Simpson, Minister of Willow Point Baptist Church, assisted by Dr. James Ragland, Southern Baptist Missionary Emeritus, and the Rev. David Worthington, Minister of Adults, North Monroe Baptist Church. Ms. Pam Marr will provide musical accompaniment. The Eulogy will be by his granddaughter Grace Anne Loper and his son Chester T. Kelley.
Burial will follow at Forest Park West Cemetery with full Shreveport Police Honors
Family Visitation will be Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30pm, also at Rose-Neath Southside Funeral Home.
Mr. Kelley was born May 19th, 1915, in Marlow, Oklahoma and passed away Sunday, September 10th, 2006, at the age of 91, in Shreveport, LA after a brief illness. He was a resident of Summerfield Estates Retirement Residence.
He was preceded in death by his father James Odus Kelley, his mother Mattie Alabama Smart Kelley, his daughter Cynthia Jean Kelley Hunt, and his loving wife of 67 years Hazel Grace McFarland Kelley. He is survived by his sisters Ruby Kelley Siever of Duncan, OK and Leola Kelley Ragland, and husband James, also of Duncan; son Chester Thurman Kelley, and wife Carol L. McDaniel, and his former wife, Marie N. Kelley of Baton Rouge; his grandchildren Don Harrold and wife, Grace Anne Harrold Loper and husband Don, of Shreveport, LA, Karin Elizabeth Kelley Oathout and husband Patrick, of Shreveport, LA, and Kristopher McFarland Kelley, of Baton Rouge, LA; his step-grandchildren Erin Saint-Marie McDaniel, and John-Todd Nelson McDaniel, of Shreveport, LA; and his great grandchildren Maggie Grace and Pierce Wesley Loper, and Haley Marie, Sutton Patrick, and Addison Elizabeth Oathout; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
Thurman Kelley spent 2 years at Central State University in Edmond, OK and then another 2 years as an instructor in the Civilian Conservation Corps before getting a job with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 1939, he and Hazel were married in Washington, D.C. at National Memorial Baptist Church where they met while both were working for the F.B.I. It was a beautiful love that continued even after Hazelís death last June. He missed her so very much.
T. P. Kelley served 36 years as a Special Agent for the F.B.I. including assignments in Chicago, Houston and New Orleans. His final 19 years with the FBI were spent in Shreveport, the last 14 as the Senior Resident Agent.
In 1971 he resigned to become the Chief of the Shreveport Police Department, a position he held for 5 years.
He continued to work as a private investigator, specializing in missing heirs and unclaimed property, until he died.
His family and friends rejoice that he was a man of honor and integrity who was faithful to his Lord, his country and community, and his wife and family. During his career he had discovered corruption almost beyond description and was able to work successfully toward its correction. But until the very end he resisted requests to discuss those things out of respect for those still living and the families involved.
Pallbearers will be Kristopher Kelley, John-Todd McDaniel, Patrick Oathout, Don Loper, Sam Burns, and Robert Merolla. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Shreveport Police and Firefighters Memorial Fund, Willow Point Baptist Church, or the American Diabetes Association.
September 10, 2006
Dear Family and Friends,
I am heartbroken to tell you that my father Thurman P. Kelley passed away this Sunday morning, September 10, 2006, at 6:10 AM at Schumpert Hospital in Shreveport.
He had called his granddaughter Grace Anne on Friday to say he was very weak and had been so for more than three weeks. She took him to his doctor who found his heart rate to be only 35-40 beats a minute and sent him immediately to the emergency room. (It will not surprise you to know that he had not told any of us about his weakness before this, even though we spoke to him almost every day, and I had even been over to pay bills with him earlier in the week. Neither he nor Mom ever wanted to "bother" us.)
The initial diagnosis was "total heart block" (which might not be the right words) which means the upper and lower chambers of the heart were not operating in sync. The conventional wisdom was that a pacemaker would do the trick.
But then his blood work showed the enzymes of a heart attack even though he had never experienced chest pains.
The cardiologist hoped a pacemaker would alleviate both problems and was hesitant to do a heart catheterization because of Dad's age.
The pacemaker was put in place Saturday morning and he was doing so well that they were planning on him going home on Sunday.
But his heart stopped suddenly Sunday morning, and they let him go after just a few minutes trying to resuscitate him.
I had been with him Friday evening and all day Saturday. Grace Anne stayed with him Saturday night and was with him when he died.
Pop had told me Friday evening and both before and after his procedure Saturday that he thought it was "going to be soon." Before the procedure, I attributed that to the weakness that I'm sure he had felt over the past few weeks. After the procedure, I attributed it to the initial exhaustion he felt from the sudden increase in his heart rate from 35-40 to above 80 with the implantation of the pacemaker.
But he somehow knew, and at 6 AM Grace Anne awoke to hear him praying: first the Lord's Prayer, and then a prayer for his family with his thanks that he would soon see his wife Hazel and his daughter Jean and his Momma and Pappa again.
Upon realizing that Grace Anne was awake, he told her that the time was close and not to worry - that everything was going to be OK. Less than 10 minutes later, he left us.
We don't think he ever experienced any pain. He certainly never demonstrated any fear or anxiety of any sort.
My father was a wonderful Christian man who was true to his God and loyal to his family to the very end.
We are so blessed that he was such a wonderful part of our lives. And we are also blessed that the Good Lord took him Home in such a sweet, gentle way.
A final note. On Saturday, my Dad told both Grace Anne and me that he had decided to discontinue working as a private investigator finding people who had unclaimed property due to them. Yes, he still worked at that almost every day.
So, it is true that my father continued working until the day he died at the age of 91.
Looking back at his whole life, he was a wonderful man who left us a wonderful legacy of love.
I will forward the obituary when it is complete.
Much love to you all,
Chester T. Kelley
Thurman married Hazel Grace McFarland, daughter of Robert Simeon McFarland and Cynthia Irene Brayton, on Feb 11, 1939 in Washington, D.C. (Hazel Grace McFarland was born on Feb 11, 1915 in Logan, Quay County, New Mexico and died on Jun 25, 2005 in Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana.)