Betty Kelley, 82, dedicated her efforts to preventing child abuse

Betty Kelley, 82, was born Dec. 5, 1933, in Canandaigua, N.Y., and shortly after was placed into foster care. During her childhood Betty lived in many different foster homes, suffering abuse and neglect at the hands of those who were her caregivers.

Betty Kelley
                  Betty Kelley

In her late teens, Betty met James Kelley, who was stationed in New York with the U.S. Air Force. The two were married and moved to Roanoke, Va., where they raised three daughters, Laurie, Rachel and Karen. Betty’s greatest joy in life was her children and grandchildren and her devotion, sacrifice and love for them was selfless and unconditional.

In 1996, as typical of her true compassion and care, Betty left Roanoke and her career, relocating Virginia Beach, Va., to be with her youngest granddaughter, Kara, who suffered a tragic illness at only 18 months old. The loving, genuine bond Betty shared with Kara was one that was lasting and true and made Kara who she is today.

Betty had a strong faith in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and believed that with her faith anything was possible. She believed that God’s love would carry her through all of the days of her life. Betty spent years working with the Child Abuse Prevention Council, and in 1997 she published a book entitled “Home Free,” a story of her childhood in foster care under the name Betty Pruden. The book sold out in hard cover, with most of the proceeds going to child abuse prevention. Betty was an artist, teacher and photographer and received numerous awards for her many talents.

When Betty was 78, she suffered a massive stroke, leaving her paralyzed and unable to walk. Despite these challenges, Betty’s love and kind spirit continued to inspire those who spent time getting to know her while she was in nursing center care. It was here where God graciously carried her to her eternal Home.

Visitation will be from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, 2016, and funeral services at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 13, 2016, at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, 1264 Great Neck Road North, Virginia Beach, Va.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Betty’s name to the Child Abuse Prevention Council.

Condolences may be offered to the family at

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