Gertrude "Trudy" Stephens Kelley

February 9, 1922October 23, 2011

Gertrude Stephens Kelley was born in Kansas City, Missouri on February 9, 1922. It was on a Sunday, October 23, 2011, when she passed away peacefully in Austin, TX at the age of 89 after a short battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. She led a long, active life; in her later years, she participated in Austin’s EJ Chapter of P.E.O., Bethany Methodist Charity Circle, the Red Hat Society, and a book club with some friends while attending Grace Covenant Church with family. She is survived by her son and his wife, Steve and Linda Kelley, her two grandchildren, Scott and Kimberly Kelley, and her brother, wife, and nephew, Roy, Rilla and Ross Stephens of Fort Worth, TX. Her husband of 52 years, William Kelley, preceded her in death when he went to be with the Lord in April 1996. Gertrude, who preferred to be called Trudy, graduated from Paseo High School and then a local business college in Kansas City. She met her husband to be, William, just before World War Two at George Washington’s Birthday Party, an event sponsored by the post office where her father worked as superintendant. Trudy and Bill were married on September 2, 1945, immediately following his return from the war in Europe and before a potential redeployment to the Pacific. When Japan’s early surrender cancelled the need for this, they settled in Mission, Kansas where Trudy had been working for the government. While Bill began to work with Southwestern Bell, Trudy worked as a secretary at various companies, such as an Anheuser Busch distributor and a mortgage company. One of her working skills was taking short hand dictation which she continued to use for making notes long after it had become her own personal secret code. Their one son, Stephen, was born in Kansas City in April 1951. When Southwestern Bell gave Bill a promotion, Trudy and her family relocated to St. Louis, Missouri in 1964. After several years in St Louis, where Stephen met his wife, American Bell International offered Trudy and Bill their biggest life adventure: an assignment for him to work with them in Tehran, Iran in 1978. Not willing to sit around, Trudy chose to work for the United Nations. Trudy and Bill traveled throughout Europe, Israel, and Russia at the time, but later made a hasty retreat to the States when the Shah in Iran fell in 1979. While harrowing, in the end, this adventure provided Trudy with numerous stories and mementos to share with her friends back in the States. Upon returning, Trudy and her husband retired to a lake house in Rogers, Arkansas. Eleven years later, they moved to Austin, Texas to be near family, and she became an integral part of her grandchildren’s childhoods. This included going on family cruises together through the Caribbean and the Alaskan countryside. Trudy focused her life on caring for her family and being a loving, actively involved grandmother. Family and close friends were able to be with her when she passed away in the afternoon last Sunday. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, October 29, 2011 at the Grace Covenant Church located at 9431 Jollyville Road, Austin, Texas 78759. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to PEO or Grace Covenant Church. (click on the Foundation and Planned Giving Link)


  • Memorial Service Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gertrude "Trudy" Stephens Kelley

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Dan Kimura

November 3, 2011

We were so sorry to hear of your loss. All of our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

May, Dan, Kathy, Kaz & Kayleigh

Karen Vandiver

October 29, 2011

Peace be with you during this time. Trudy loved life and especially her family and friends. And life loved her right back. I miss her bunches.

Frances Beachy

October 27, 2011

Dear Steve, Linda and family,

My memories go back a long way when I think about Trudy. I always looked forward to seeing her, hearing her stories, see how she was dressed to the Nth, her sense of humor. I can see her now at one of our auction when she bought a Christmas vest I had made. She wore it every year after that and always pointed it out. We have missed her and will always remember what an asset she was to Chapter EJ. Blessing and sympathy go to all of you. With love, Frances Beachy

Arthur Miyazaki

October 27, 2011

Cousin Linda and Steve,
Elaine just sent me an email about your mom. Sorry, I know that you were close. I won't be able to see you next month but, you know that my prayers are with you.
with love your cousin Arthur