Whitley
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A HISTORY OF THE KELLY WHITLEY FAMILY

By Four Whitley Daughters, Janet, Raye, Faye, and Peggy

Kelly Whitley was born on September 29, 1909, in Oberlin, Louisiana, the son of J. I. and Harriet Whitley. On June 9, 1930, he married Bicy Reeves, the daughter of Brown and Lenora Reeves, also of Oberlin, Louisiana.

In 1934, Kelly and Bicy Whitley, along with their son, Jimmy, moved to Nederland, Texas. Kelly was employed by McNeill and Company grocery for seven years before he went to work for Fair Maid Bakery in Beaumont. He worked for Fair Maid from 1941 until 1946.

During the year 1946, Kelly decided to go into business for himself. He started with a grocery store and service station at the corner of Twin City and Helena, that had formerly belonged to L. B. Cobb, who had decided to retire due to age. Kelly's desire to create a prosperous business in Nederland continued in 1955, when he became owner and operator of a Pure Oil Company service station, located at the intersection of Twin City and Chicago, where formerly Bartels Bakery had been located, and a florist and nursery are located today (1991).

Kelly Whitley was always a very religious and civic-minded person, who placed the welfare of others at par with his own. He served both on the Nederland City Council as well as the Nederland School Board. He was also a longtime member and deacon of the First Baptist Church of Nederland, and a member of the Masonic Lodge. His love of people, family, and community fed his desire to devote his time to the service and well-being of others.

After their move to Nederland, Kelly and Bicy Whitley had four daughters, including a set of twins. Their son, Jimmy, was killed in a bicycle-auto accident as he was riding to his home on Ninth Street from the Langham School. Their daughters, Janet, Raye, Faye, and Peggy, were all reared, educated, and graduated from high school in Nederland. The family continued in their devotion as active members of their church, First Baptist of Nederland. During the 1950s, the Whitleys built their new home at 1904 Elgin. The leadership and thoughtfulness of Kelly and Bicy Whitley were to have a positive impact on their children, friends, and others in Nederland.

Janet Whitley is married to Wayne Tollefsen, and they reside in Crystal Beach, Texas. Janet has three children as follows: Lisa Hooks Beckcom, married to Blake E. Beckcom; Kelly Hooks, and Tommy Hooks. Raye is married to Jimmy Norwood. They reside in Silsbee, Texas, with their two children, Don and Jill. Faye is married to Jack Martin, and they reside in Nederland. They have one daughter, Shari Martin Walker, married to Sean Walker. Peggy is married to Gerald Cowart, and they also reside in Nederland. Her son, Darrin Dykes, and his wife, Lina, live in Houston, Texas.

Kelly Whitley passed away on October 9, 1962, after suffering a long illness. He was buried in Oakdale, Louisiana. Bicy is married to William E. Poss, and they still reside in Nederland. The children of Kelly and Bicy Whitley are proud of the contributions that they and their parents have made to the growth and improvement of Nederland, and they are likewise proud for the standards of living instilled in them by their parents. Kelly Whitley is still fondly recalled and sorely missed by his family and an entire host of friends whose lives he touched

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