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The Obituary of Mrs. Rose Marie Starnes Kelly


"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."

2 Timothy 4:7

Mrs. Rose Marie Starnes Kelly was born June 17, 1945, in York, SC, to the late Mr. Samuel and Mary Allison Starnes. She entered into eternal rest on Friday morning, February 23, 2024, at Prisma Health Hospital, Columbia, SC., after a courageous 2 ½ year battle with cancer.

Rose Starnes confessed the Lord Jesus Christ early in life while growing up in White Hill AME Zion Church in York, SC. Rose was a 1963 graduate of Jefferson High School in York, SC. She sang in the high school Glee Club and Girl's Ensemble while performing throughout South Carolina. She received a Diploma in Secretarial Science from the Durham Business School in Durham, NC, in 1964. On August 17, 1966, she married the love of her life, James Arthur Kelly, Jr., and with this union, they had two sons: James Arthur Kelly, III, and Michael Adrian Kelly.

Rose Starnes Kelly joined Jones Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church in Columbia, SC, in 1972. As an active member of Jones Memorial, Rose gave her time and talents to serve God and was a true disciple of Jesus Christ. She served as President of the Deaconess Board, President - Conference and Home Mission Workers, Secretary - Stewardess Board, Bereavement Committee Coordinator, Sanctuary Choir member/soloist, Life Member and Life Matron of the WH&OM Society, Former Sunday School Teacher, and many other church organizations. She was also a Mother of the Year award recipient. One of her most rewarding and cherished moments oc­curred while serving as the Coordinator of the Free Summer Feeding Pro­gram for Jones Memorial's Youth Summer Camp. She had a strong desire to positively impact the lives of young children and single mothers in the community.

Rose had a passion for singing, cooking, traveling, and, most importantly, serving others. She loved her family and especially her husband of 57 years, ''Kell''.

Rose retired in 2003 from Companion Life Insurance Company, a subsidi­ary company of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina. During her 34 years of service, she garnered many awards and finished her career as a Compliance Coordinator.

Rose leaves to cherish her memories: her husband, James A. Kelly, Jr.; two sons, James A. Kelly, III (Sandra) of Charlotte, NC and Michael A. Kelly of Columbia, SC; three grandchildren, James A. Kelly, IV; Sierra N. Kelly, and Mason A. Kelly. Other survivors include her siblings, Johnnie S. Gray of York, SC, Georgia S. Glenn of Chicago, IL, Oliver M. Starnes of York, SC, and Perry L. Starnes (Rita) of York, SC, and a host of nephews, nieces, family members, and friends.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Samuel and Mary Allison Starnes of York, SC; her siblings, Margaret Ann Starnes, Thomas Jefferson Starnes, Samuel Starnes, Jr., Sitrena S. Berry; her sister-in-laws Jeanetta K. Hall and Diane K.

Rose Marie Starnes Kelly, Celebration of Life, WH&OM Society, Jones Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church