Barbara Holton Kelly passed away unexpectedly of natural causes at her home in Pensacola,
FL on Wednesday, January 31, 2018, at the age of 71. Miss Kelly was born on June 12, 1946, in Yazoo City, MS, where she spent her childhood and youth. A graduate of Yazoo High School in 1964, she earned a BS in speech from Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS.
She had a long, successful, and rewarding career as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines and
lived most of her adult life in the vibrant Virginia Highlands neighborhood of mid-town
Atlanta, GA. Following her retirement from Delta, she moved to South Walton County
and later, to Pensacola, where she resided until her death.
Barbara was a Master Gardener, a landscape designer, and an ardent plant enthusiast. Her
beloved “babies” were her cats; she was “mother” to Butterscotch, Willie, Misha, and most
recently, Bootsie, among others. Having a penchant for travel, China, Peru, and most of
Europe, were among her many destinations, as well as numerous locations throughout the
U.S., including an extended stay for several months in San Francisco, her favorite American
city. Barbara was interested in genealogy and spent a great deal of time researching Kelly
After her retirement, Miss Kelly built a beautiful, three story Victorian-style beach house in
Blue Mountain Beach, FL. Eventually settling in Pensacola, she built a rich life filled with
friends and volunteer work. In addition to her Master Gardener work, she was a reading
mentor to an elementary school girl, an active volunteer for the Democratic Party, and served
on the Flower Guild at her church.
Anyone who knew her would agree that Barbara was passionate about the causes she believed
in. She enjoyed painting, deep conversation with interesting people, and red wine.
Barbara is preceded in death by her parents, Albert “A. B.” Bolling and Dorothy Holton Kelly of
Yazoo City, MS; and her sister, Carol Kelly Vaiden of Memphis, TN.
She is survived by her two brothers and sisters-in-law, Bo and Marsha Kelly San Antonio, TX and Calvin and Paula Kelly Birmingham, AL; five nieces, Farrow Vaiden Carson Springfield, MO, Lynsey Kelly, and Lauren Kelly Mitchell both of San Antonio, TX, Hillary Kelly
White of Grand Rapids, MI, and Alissa Kelly Thornell of Birmingham, AL; and her
great-nieces and nephews, Holton Carson, Eden White, Bran Carson, Ivy White, Corbin
Thornell, Luca Mitchell, and Declan Thornell.
Barbara will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered by family and friends for her spunky
spirit and big beautiful smile.
A Memorial Service will be conducted at Christ Episcopal Church on Monday, February 12, 2018, at 10:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials be made to Christ Church, 18 W. Wright St., Pensacola, FL 32501.
Interment will ultimately be in Glennwood Cemetery in Yazoo City, MS.