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Robert Douglas Kelley Jr.

Celebrating the life of Robert “Bob” Douglas Kelley, the “ Hardest Working Man in Jackson County”

Robert “Bob” Kelley was born on November 2, 1939. He was the second born to Robert Douglas Kelley & Tahnell Davidson Kelley. Raised with his older sister Betty & younger brother John “David” in Hoover, AL.

Bob graduated from Samford University School of Pharmacy and also served as an Honor Guard with the United States Coast Guard.

In the spring of 1966, he arrived in Sylva, NC by way of Hoopers Drug Store. Later in the year, he was lured to assist in the Western Carolina College homecoming parade. Having a convertible, the Jackson County Queen would need a ride & as fate would have it, that is how he met & fell for the love of his life, Betty Jean “Jeannie” Stillwell. As their courtship blossomed, so did his love for this small town he’s called home for over 50 years. The two were married on April 6, 1968 & settled into a home eager to start their lives together. They began their family with the birth of their first son, Robert Douglas Kelley III on February 15, 1969. Two more children followed with the birth of their daughter Kristian Tahnell on February 3, 1971 & Michael Davidson on April 16, 1975.

With a family of five, Bob began to take stronger roots in our town by purchasing Hoopers Drug Store, becoming Kel-Save Drugs & serving our community until his final days. For 53 years, Bob was a passionate supporter of Sylva & surrounding areas. He was a member of East Sylva Baptist Church, a Board of Directors for Wachovia Bank, & often contributed to many local charities & strong support of Jackson County Schools & Sheriff’s Department. Bob treated the people of town like family, always serving the community in any way he could. Bob spent much of his time at Kel-Save Drug, aiding in the health & well being of the people of Sylva. Even during some of our worst winters, Bob would choose to stay at the store so he could be open for those that needed him.

Bob was called home on November 11, 2020. Preceded by his parents as well as his eldest son, Robert D Kelley III. He leaves behind his loving wife Jeannie Kelley & their two children Kristy & Mike, as well as their grandchildren Avery, Brooks, Taylor, Drayton & David.

No services are planned at this time, however Memorial gifts may be made to Mr. Kelley’s favorite charity United Christian Ministry of Jackson County helping to support local families in need at 191 Skyland Dr, Sylva, NC 28779. A receiving of friends to honor Bob will be held at a later date.

Appalachian Funeral Services of Sylva, NC is serving the family. 

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Kelley Jr., please visit our flower store.


Jeannie and family I am so very to hear of Bobs passing you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Bob was such a selfless kind man he will be missed so much In our community. ~Melissa Zoda-Hardin

Melissa Hardin Jan 2 2021 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Robert Kelley Jr.

Melissa Hardin Jan 2 2021 12:00 AM

These are the times that are hard to operate a funeral home. Bob Kelly is one of the last people I remember seeing as a young child. I remember my parents coming into his drug store to buy eye drops for me. I've always respected and admired Bob as an outstanding business owner who was forever willing to go the extra mile for his neighbors and community. He would open the drug store whenever a family needed medicine after hours. He will be sorely missed ! David Gates

David Gates Nov 18 2020 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Robert Kelley Jr.

David Gates Nov 18 2020 12:00 AM

So sorry for your family's loss. Bob was a great guy. We have been coming to Kel-Sav for 30+ yrs & will remember him fondly.

Ellen Heim Nov 16 2020 12:00 AM

I married and moved here 40+ years ago and Bob and the Kel-Save crew have been my pharmacy ever since. He always took SUCH wonderful care of our family, and I never went to the pharmacy that he failed to speak and ask me how I was doing. That meant soooo much! He will be greatly, greatly missed! My thoughts and continual prayers are with the family.

Dawne Coward Nov 16 2020 12:00 AM

Jeannie and family, So very sad to learn of Bob's passing. Bob was like no other person I've ever known. He was an amazing man who will be missed by so many. Praying for you and those who loved him through the days ahead. His legacy will live on through the lives of others.

Sandy and Wayne Muller Nov 16 2020 12:00 AM

Bob was a good man and the best Boss ever. He always treated everyone like family. Will be greatly missed. Praying for the family. Love you all. SANDY

Sandy Beck Nov 15 2020 12:00 AM

Bob Kelly you will be missed by so many people and you were the Hardest Working Man in Jackson County!! RIP. Prayers for your sweet family.

Gwen Nicholson Nov 14 2020 12:00 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Robert Kelley Jr.

Gwen Nicholson Nov 14 2020 12:00 AM

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