Linda Carol Kelly

November 12, 1956 - February 9, 2016
Linda Carol Kelly

Linda Carol Kelly, age 59, of Wilmington, North Carolina, passed away on February 9th, 2016.

She is survived by her husband Steve Kelly, her daughter Tara Kelly, her son Steve, his wife Maud, and their children Maeve and Finnian, and her sons Greg and Brian. She is also survived by her mother Phyllis Rothrock, her sister Nancy Cochran and her husband James (Bo), and their children Benjamin and Sydney, and her brother Steven Rothrock, his wife Dru, and their children Ryan and Ashleigh. Also survived by her sister-in-law Mary Kelly, and her cousins Sue Billing and Fay Cepeda.

Linda is predeceased by her father John A. Rothrock.

Linda was born in Marietta, Ohio on November 12th, 1956 and grew up in Williamstown, West Virginia. After earning her degree from West Virginia University in 1982, Linda spent over 30 years working as a hospital and retail pharmacist. Throughout her career she dedicated herself to serving the public, going above and beyond in her compassionate care of her coworkers and customers.

Linda was at her best when she was making people feel comfortable and welcome. She threw her home open to everyone—Halloween and Fourth of July and Christmas parties for her large circle of friends and neighbors, PTA board meetings around the kitchen table, neighborhood kick-ball games in the front yard where Tara’s friends competed against their parents for glory, political phone banks where a dozen or more volunteers came together in the living room and kitchen and ate soup and sandwiches and made calls. And of course, many times throughout the year she and Steve played host to family from all over. Always there was food. Always there was laughter. Always there was love.

Linda was an avid reader. She devoured books—two or three in a week. She supported the New Hanover Public Library with money and used books. She loved a good story and couldn’t stop reading until she knew how it ended. But she was no introvert. She loved to play cards and board games, and was always ready for a get-together—any excuse to laugh and share the pure joy of being alive with other folks.

Linda loved the West Virginia Mountaineers. She never missed one of their football games when they were on television. She knew more about football than most men and would not suffer a bad call gladly, particularly if it went against the Panthers or Mountaineers.

On her days off, she liked to sleep in and spend her mornings enjoying big breakfasts cooked with her family, reading, listening to music, and playing Scrabble with Steve. She was a night owl, staying up till the early hours (often times with Tara by her side) tidying the house, working on one of her many projects, or relaxing with a book in her easy chair.

She loved Dan Fogelburg, the Dixie Chicks, George Jones, Jackson Browne, Adele, Martina McBride, James Taylor, and John Prine. She gracefully tolerated Steve’s Mozart and Mendelssohn. She and Steve danced to Endless Love by the Righteous Brothers when they took the floor at their wedding. And don’t get us started about her dancing; she was poetry in motion and could fairly rip a carpet.

There will be an open memorial gathering to celebrate Linda’s life on Saturday, February 13th, from 11 AM until 2 PM at Inland Greens Clubhouse. All are welcome to come anytime throughout this window to share their memories and be with those who love Linda.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in her memory to one of the following organizations:

Arid Serenity, a Wilmington, NC based nonprofit focused on rehabilitating alcoholics, drug abusers, etc.
Website for donations:

World Literacy Foundation
Website for donations:

Children’s Literacy Foundation
Website for donations:

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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S.41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099

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  • February 11, 2016
    Kearnetta Green says:
    Beautiful, beloved Linda. Since the moment that I met you, I fell in Love. You mean so much to me and ALL of my family as you opened your great big heart and let us all in. I love you and I miss you. My heart is broken, but I pray that peace will find your family during this difficult time. Kisses until we meet again.

  • February 12, 2016
    Stephanie Farley Adams says:
    I am heartbroken. My sister Pam Linda and I used to play together when we were little. She lived across the street from my grandmother on Henderson Ave. Such a sweet girl with an infectious laugh and smile.

  • February 12, 2016
    Janet townsend says:
    You don't know me but Linda was a very special person to my family. In the 70's Linda often babysat for us. My sons eddy and kevin. She even went on vacation with us to the beach. We all enjoyed having her around. She will be missed. Thank you Linda.

  • February 12, 2016
    Janet Alexander Shendok says:
    I am so saddened to learn of Linda's passing. We were family friends growing up and I used to babysit Linda and Nancy - many fond memories. My heartfelt sympathies to Linda's mother and her entire family.

  • February 12, 2016
    Ms Allison says:
    Sorry for your loss, the Bible shows a real hope of being reunited with your dead loved ones. John 5 : 28, 29 states the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear Jesus voice and come out to a resurrection. This is comforting to know that Jesus is certainly capable of restoring life to someone who has died. Hope this brings comfort to the family.