OBITUARY

Wilda "Rita" Merita Fleming Kelly

June 28, 1939April 26, 2021

Wilda “Rita” Merita Fleming Kelly, 81, passed away on Monday, April 26, 2021. Visitation will be held at Fondren Church (formerly Woodland Hills Baptist Church) in Jackson, MS on Friday, April 30 from 12:00 to 2:00 PM with the funeral service beginning at 2:00 PM and officiated by Rev Ty Pigott. A private family committal service will follow at Lakewood Memorial Park.

Rita was born on June 28, 1939 in Clara, MS. She attended Jones County Community College. Rita was a lifelong member of Woodland Hills Baptist Church where she shared her love of music singing in the choir. She was a lifelong educator which included teaching Sunday School with the deaf ministry and impacting many young children at Ann Smith Elementary in Ridgeland. Rita had a passion for the arts including ceramics, painting and creating elaborate costumes for many theater and church productions. She was a premier Arabian horse breeder with horses shown around the country. Rita was a loving soul who never met a stranger, sharing her unwavering love of Jesus with all those she encountered. She loved to cook and would make you the best home cooked meal if you'd let her!

Rita held this scripture dear to her heart - 3 John 1:4 - "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." Her final written words of testament were "I hope I have given you Jesus as He gave Himself for us."

She is preceded in death by her parents, Gordon Ware Fleming, Sr. and Mattie Wilda Shoemaker Fleming; daughter, Martha "Marty" Kelly; and sister, Bonnie Fleming Merrifield.

Rita is survived by her daughter, Danaleah Kelly Roberson (Benji) of Ridgeland; son, Gary Dan “Laddie" Kelly, Jr. (Jenny) of Ridgeland; her grandchildren, Rainey Daniels (James) of Madison, Summer Rose Roberson, Katherine Camille Kelly and Daniel Patrick Kelly; her great grandchildren, Violet Daniels and Rett Daniels; her brother, Gorden "Rocky" Ware Fleming, Jr (Sallie) of Rogers, AR; many loving nieces, nephews and a host of long-time friends.

Services

  • Visitation

    Friday, April 30, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Friday, April 30, 2021

Memories

Wilda "Rita" Merita Fleming Kelly

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Benita and Bret Swan

April 30, 2021

I’ll always remember Ms. Kelly singing in the choir at WHBC. She was so lovely. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. A funny story both Bret and I remember: One trip while home to visit Bret’s parents we attended church services at WHBC. Our girls wore dresses with cowboy boots. Ms. Kelly visited with us and inquired about them wearing cowboy boots at church. We replied that we live in Texas and didn’t think a thing about it, commenting everybody wears cowboy boots to church in Texas. Ms. Kelly replied that she was from the country but didn’t wear overalls to church. We all got a big laugh out of that. I pray more happy memories flood your mind in the coming days ahead.

Charlie Walley

April 30, 2021

So sorry to hear about Rita. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

Charlie

Becky Odom

April 29, 2021

Dear Danaleah, Benji and family, Glenn and I are holding you close in our prayers. Rita was such a kind and unique lady. She will be greatly missed by all of us who knew and loved her.
Glenn and Becky Odom

Dorothy Alvis

April 29, 2021

I am so broken hearted of the passing of my sweet and beautiful cousin. I know she’s rejoicing with Jesus and all her family and friends that have gone on before her. I regret that I will not be able to be with you all for the funeral. As you know I’m in Hattiesburg, and I’m taking Steve for a medical procedure at 10:30 on Friday morning. I extend my deepest sympathies to all the family.
Much love,
Dot Alvis

Faitg Roberts

April 28, 2021

Dear Danaleah , Laddie,and family ,
Fred and I were so deeply saddened today when we learned about the great loss of your Mom. She was such a precious soul that we loved dearly . We know she’s receiving many rewards to lay at JESUS ‘ feet.
There are many cherished memories of being with her at WHBC....including fun times of being in ceramics class that she led . May God bless each of you with His comfort and peace. We send our love and deepest sympathy. Faith Roberts

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Wilda “Rita” Merita Fleming Kelly, 81, passed away on Monday, April 26, 2021. Visitation will be held at Fondren Church (formerly Woodland Hills Baptist Church) in Jackson, MS on Friday, April 30 from 12:00 to 2:00 PM with the funeral service beginning at 2:00 PM and officiated by Rev Ty Pigott. A private family committal service will follow at Lakewood Memorial Park.

Rita was born on June 28, 1939 in Clara, MS. She attended Jones County Community College. Rita was a lifelong member of Woodland Hills Baptist Church where she shared her love of music singing in the choir. She was a lifelong educator which included teaching Sunday School with the deaf ministry and impacting many young children at Ann Smith Elementary in Ridgeland. Rita had a passion for the arts including ceramics, painting and creating elaborate costumes for many theater and church productions. She was a premier Arabian horse breeder with horses shown around the country. Rita was a loving soul who never met a stranger, sharing her unwavering love of Jesus with all those she encountered. She loved to cook and would make you the best home cooked meal if you'd let her!

Rita held this scripture dear to her heart - 3 John 1:4 - "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." Her final written words of testament were "I hope I have given you Jesus as He gave Himself for us."

She is preceded in death by her parents, Gordon Ware Fleming, Sr. and Mattie Wilda Shoemaker Fleming; daughter, Martha "Marty" Kelly; and sister, Bonnie Fleming Merrifield.

Rita is survived by her daughter, Danaleah Kelly Roberson (Benji) of Ridgeland; son, Gary Dan “Laddie" Kelly, Jr. (Jenny) of Ridgeland; her grandchildren, Rainey Daniels (James) of Madison, Summer Rose Roberson, Katherine Camille Kelly and Daniel Patrick Kelly; her great grandchildren, Violet Daniels and Rett Daniels; her brother, Gorden "Rocky" Ware Fleming, Jr (Sallie) of Rogers, AR; many loving nieces, nephews and a host of long-time friends.