McEwen Funeral Service-Mint Hill Chapel

7428 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Charlotte, NC


Mrs. Kelly Elizabeth Gray Keesling

March 17, 1968May 30, 2019
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Kelly Keesling, 51, of Charlotte NC passed away on May 30 after a courageous 3-year battle with Stage IV lung cancer. Kelly was an inspiration for her faith, strength, and cancer advocacy. She will be missed by everyone who knew her.

Kelly was born on Fort Belvoir Army Base, Virginia, on March 17, 1968. She graduated from Hayfield High School in Alexandria in 1986, earned her bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1990, and went on to become a licensed Professional Engineer. She married the love of her life, Tim Keesling, with whom she has two children, Ashley (25) and Stephen (23). Being a mom was Kelly’s greatest joy and nothing made her more proud than her two kids. After having kids, Kelly worked as a Communications Director at St. Stephen United Methodist Church and Christ Covenant Church.

Kelly loved working with the youth at St. Stephen, hanging out at her beach house, making lists, sitting in her sunroom, playing board games and doing puzzles, chatting with her book club, singing 80s love songs, taking evening strolls, spending girl time with her nieces Molly and Casey, and playing with her dogs. Kelly’s favorite flowers were daisies, favorite colors were maroon and orange (go Hokies!), and had the world’s largest private collection of shoes.

Kelly is survived by her loving husband, Tim; children, Ashley and Stephen; parents, Fred and Thalia Gray; sister, Tracy Delahunt; brother, Peter Gray; nephew, Griffin Keesling; and nieces, Molly Keesling, Casey Delahunt and Abby Schofield.

Kelly was a fighter, advocate and voice for Lung Cancer awareness. Consider donating in Kelly’s honor to GO2 Foundation for Lung Cancer, through http://www.supportalcf.org/ros1/sunshinekk.

The family will receive friends from 6:30 pm until 9:00 pm Friday evening, June 7, at McEwen Funeral Service, Mint Hill Chapel, 7428 Matthews-Mint Hill Road in Mint Hill, North Carolina. A service to celebrate Kelly’s life will be held 4:00 pm Saturday afternoon, June 8, at St. Stephen United Methodist Church, 6800 Sardis Road in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Reverend Ken Curtis will officiate. A Reception will be held immediately after the Service in the Youth Ministry Center.


  • Receiving of Friends Friday, June 7, 2019
  • A Celebration of Life Saturday, June 8, 2019


Mrs. Kelly Elizabeth Gray Keesling

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jackie Pace

June 8, 2019

Kelly was there for my husband Stephen in the darkest hours of his fighting cancer. Stephen would tell me about talking with her during their chemo treatments or about her calling him to check on things. He was impressed with her upbeat attitude and her concern for him while fighting her own battle. He followed her blogs daily. Although I never met Kelly, I attended the celebration of her life today and had the opportunity to tell her Boy Scout son how much she had meant to him. What an amazing woman!

Carol Hambridge

June 7, 2019

My heart goes out to you and your children. I remember seeing Kelly's beautiful bridal photo on your desk at work. When I met Kelly, I knew that she was truly special-so smart, kind and full of life. I remember seeing her at Chimney Rock State Park at a Girl Scout event. We were doing an activity about owls for the girls. At work gatherings, we would talk about our kids and share stories. She was so full of love. I respected her as an engineer, mother, volunteer and friend. Looking through all of the beautiful photos, remembering Kelly's smile, and reading about her strength and grace, she continues to inspires me.
May God grant you the strength to get through this time until you are once again united.
~Carol Hambridge

Marianne Oliva

June 6, 2019

I remember being at the Gray's home, and Kelly, Tracy, and their friends acted out the song "Grease Lightening". The girls were great, sang wonderfully, and did all the dance and hand movements! I think Kelly was 11 or 12 at the time and led the group. Very entertaining!
Kelly was always smiling and pleasant to everyone.
Our sincerest condolences to Tim, Ashley, Stephen, Fred, Thalia, Tracy, Peter, and all family and loved ones. God has a new angel.

John Fullerton

June 5, 2019

The Board and members of the North Carolina Association of Floodplain Managers (NCAFPM) express our sorrow and empathy to all who loved and appreciated Kelly. She was a steady worker and friend as she served our association well with web page updates, newsletters, conferences, and the myriad of tasks that she handled. Her courage was an example to many of us who were blessed by her trust and thankfulness in our Creator. A never wavering faith gives us all the assurance that she did not lose the battle but has indeed found victory for eternity with her Lord.
Thank you, Kelly, for your example, friendship, and life. God bless your family and friends.

Bonnie Norem

June 4, 2019

Prayers and confort to all the family at this time. Even though I never met Kelly , I knew her through her loving parents and deeply mourn her loss with the family. She was a wonderful fighter through these last 3 years and a real example to all that knew her and read her blog. What an example! Dave and my condolence is with you. God bless.

Ninh & Thanh Pham

June 4, 2019

Thalia &Fred
Our deepest sympathies are with you during this time of loss.
Your daughter, Kelly was a wonderful woman,
Full of strength and goodness.
She will be sorely missed

An WineKing

June 3, 2019


A beautiful soul and a fierce fighter... even though we never met she will be remembered for her love of God, her family and courage that was beyond measure.

With deepest sympathy and prayers for comfort,


Cecelia Cole

June 1, 2019

I am so sorry to see this about your wife. Sounds like she was a wonderful person. You have my deepest condolence. Cecelia Cole