Carol D. Kelley

October 7, 1934March 12, 2018
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Chatham Carol Durling Kelley, 83, peacefully passed away at her home in Chatham on March 12, 2018. She was the beloved wife of Roland W. Kelley of Chatham for 63 years. Carol was born on October 7, 1934 in Lexington, MA. She graduated from Lexington High School in 1952 and subsequently received a certificate from Chandler College for Women, Boston in 1954. As a young girl she vacationed with her family on Cape Cod. In 1947 her father, H. R. Durling who was a teacher at Waltham Trade School, built a cottage at Oyster Pond in Chatham and the family started to stay the whole summer. This is when Carol got to know and become a part of the local community. In 1948 she got her first summer job waitressing at Sad Sacks Snack Shack on Old Harbor Road. Sad Sacks was the local hot spot. During this time she met her husband Ron. They married on June 12, 1954 at Lexington Green. While Ron served in the Air Force in Germany, Carol worked as a secretary at Brandeis University, Boston. When Ron returned in 1955 they built their first home in North Chatham to start their family. Carol was a tireless homemaker and waitressed at virtually every restaurant in Chatham, like the Christopher Ryder House, the Captain’s Table, the New Yorker, as well as the Wayside and Queen Anne Inns. She was bookkeeper for Jim Hallowell at the Chatham Bowling Alley, a Cub Scout den mother and a school bus driver as well. In 1967 her family moved into their new home in West Chatham where she lived out the rest of her life. Later in life she was bookkeeper for the Chatham Cookware, tried her hand at real estate sales and finished her waitressing career at Larry’s PX. Her father in law, Roland B. Kelley, built the original Larry’s PX prior to Shop Ahoy Plaza. She sang with the Cape Chordaires and throughout her life made countless ceramics, dolls, clothing, knitted items and embroideries. Carol was a devoted patriot to her birthright colonial New England heritage. She was the Regent for the Captain Joshua Gray Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, a member in good standing to the National Society Daughters of Founders and Patriots, the National Society Daughters of Colonial Wars and the National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century. Her passion for her heritage was surpassed only by her love for sharing with others and assisting new hopeful members in tracing and documenting their colonial ancestry. In this she was a true elder. Her daily posts were cherished by friends and will be greatly missed. Her greatest joy was closeness with family and community. This is the legacy she leaves with us all. She is survived by her husband Ron, children Jeff, Tami and Todd, grandchildren Jared, Caitlin and Michael and her great grandchildren Cora, Lydia and Brendan. She is also survived by many nephews and nieces. Visiting hours will be on Saturday, March 24 from 2:00pm – 5:00pm at Nickerson Funeral Home in Chatham. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the charity of your choice. For online condolences, please visit .


  • Roland Kelley, Husband
  • Tami Kelley, Daughter
  • Jeff Kelley, Son
  • Todd Kelley, Son


  • Memorial Visitation Saturday, March 24, 2018

Carol D. Kelley

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Bill Koerner

April 9, 2018

Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Nancy and Bill Koerner

Patricia Noon

March 24, 2018

I couldn’t have asked for a better sister in law for 62 years. So many memories shared watching our children grow up, becoming grandmothers and then great grandmothers. Carol was a loving wife to my brother Ron and a wonderful mother to my niece Tami and my nephews Jeff and Todd. She was a fun grandmother and great grandmother. I will treasure her memory. We were blessed to have her in our lives. You have moved on to the next experience taking an abundance of love with you. Farewell, Patty

Donna Lepage

March 22, 2018

Carol took me under her wing and brought me to "Busy Fingers" when my husband and I first moved to Chatham three years ago, not knowing a soul. We began to do more things together, and I had a chance to get to know what a vivacious and caring person she was. She was very passionate about her love for family and her heritage. She thoroughly enjoyed a good laugh and sharing her time and talents with others. Being outspoken, you never had to wonder what she was thinking; I loved that about her.

I feel blessed having known Carol for the short time that I did. My thoughts and prayers are with the family at this difficult time. (Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you.)

Dorothy Schatz

March 21, 2018

Carol and I shared a love for the Captain Joshua Gray Chapter of the DAR as Regents and I have always been impressed with how much Carol gave of herself to the Chapter. She was a remarkable person, loved by everyone who had a relationship with her. We are going to miss that wonderful lady but she has certainly earned her place in Heaven. May God honor her as well.
Good bye, dear friend.
Dorothy Schatz

Dari Davis

March 19, 2018

I had the pleasure of working with Carol at Fancy's Farm in Chatham. She was delightful, caring, and always had a great smile. My thoughts are with the family and her close friends, I know she will be missed.

Andrea (Andi) Crossman

March 17, 2018

Carol has been a friend for a long time, was currently serving on the board for Daughters of Founders and Patriots. The most important thing in her life was her family then came genealogy and sewing. We talked and laughed together often and I asked her how do you do all that you do and she said the same way you manage... Rest in peace my friend you will be greatly missed by all of those of us whom's lives you have touch.

Janice S Dulemba

March 17, 2018

Carol and I first met at a Cape Chordaires Women Barbershop singing group.We would spend hours sewing the outfits (as many as 32)for our competition.Carol was always there to lend a hand in whatever had to be done.Her infectious laugh and daily quotes will be missed.

Sandi O'Connor

March 17, 2018

Carol will always be remembered with a smile and her love of DAR. We shared so many long car rides to State DAR meetings and Spring Flings. She always talked about family on these rides together. I learned so much being her Vice-Regent, and it will be difficult for all of us to not have her at the helm. There will be a huge gap in so many lives, she was a great leader and friend. We will miss you dear Carol.

Jerrell Cleaves

March 17, 2018

I will always be grateful for Carol who helped me along the long journey to becoming a member of The Daughters of the American Revolution. She encouraged my research and in the end became a very good friend.

The Capt. Joshua Gray-Jonathan Hatch Chapter DAR here on the Cape remembers her many tired less hours of service and devotion. She served as Regent for so many years. I was lucky enough to have served under her as Registrar, but I never could have done it without the many phone calls asking for guidance.

How will we ever fill the gap she has left behind?

Rest in peace my friend.........Jerrell Wilcox Cleaves

Juan Rivera

March 16, 2018

Carol Kelley was my host mother to me. I am Juan Carlos Rivera , AFS exchange student and lived for one year as full member of the family with Mom Carol, Dad Roland and with my brother Jeff, Todd and sister Tami. I attended and graduated at Chatham High School Class of 1974. We kept permanent contact. She was always giving love and care, with birthday calls and cards and made me feel as her son always. I wish I could be with my Kelleys family now. Fly away Mom. We love you and will stay in my memory and heart.