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Lois Ernestine Moon Kelly
Birth: Feb. 12, 1920
Emanuel County
Georgia, USA
Death: Feb. 12, 2007
Duval County
Florida, USA

This was the eulogy I delivered at her funeral:

We go through our lives surrounded by all sorts of people. Obviously there are different physical and mental characteristics exhibited by folks, but I am speaking now more of the variations of personality types. For the sake of expediency it usually comes down to great or humble, big or small, large or tiny...the extremes on either end.

I am moved at this moment to tell about a big person I knew; big in spirit, big of heart, big in faith, big in action. That is not to say that everything about this person was big! She (for it is a Lady about whom I speak) was small in selfishness, small in pettiness, small in disbelief. All the qualities we abhor in people were Oh so small in her.

The Lady died this morning.

I think of her now as I write. Lois was 88 this same morning that she left this world. That's right...she passed on her birthday. Imagine dying on your birthday! The perpetual uniqueness of a tombstone with duplicate dates! But this triviality isn't what occupies my thoughts about my Aunt. Her smile is what's clearly visible in my mind's eye. The feel of her arms around me in a loving hug, this is what I contemplate. Her voice and her cheery bubbly laughter echoes in my mind's ear with only the slightest of effort.

She wound down just like a clock these last couple of months. I watched her wind down before my very eyes. Only ... there was no way to wind her back up. The inexorable course of our lives must inevitably come to the ultimate conclusion as planned by the Creator. And my Aunt was ready for her own conclusion in the best possible way by virtue of her rock-solid faith in Jesus Christ. On the one hand, we are not given to know the condition of most people's hearts, but in some people, their heart is an open book with Jesus clearly visible therein, and that's how it was with my Aunt. I know beyond all doubt where she is - right now.

I know less about her earthly life than I care to admit. But some things I know about her are worth sharing.

In the early 1970's Aunt Lois and her husband Kelly had already lived nearly thirty years in the same house on 19th St in the Jacksonville community of Springfield. Uncle Kelly was in a terrible car wreck one night, and he was seriously injured. His brain was irreparably damaged, and although he lived on for several more years he was never the same. The most correct way to describe Uncle Kelly's state was to say that he was childlike. He couldn't work, and his mind was clear enough to realize that without him working they wouldn't have enough money. So he responded by walking around all the time cutting off things that used electrical current. The lights you were using to read by, the TV as you watched the news, were all subject to Kelly's Electricity Patrol. Even Aunt Lois was not immune as she cooked dinner. I recall many instances of her remarking that dinner was delayed because Uncle Kelly had seen power being wasted as beans, or rice, or meatloaf was cooking, and he had swooped in with emergency conservation measures. The memory of it makes me smile.

My mother and Aunt Lois were the two eldest in a brood of seven siblings. They were the two that grew the closest among a clutch of young'uns that were already impossibly close. I knew much of what happened in their house, the same way they knew everything that happened in ours: Mama and Aunt Lois talked every day, at least once, but more often a half dozen times! They were hardwired to one another, joined at the hip in a sense. So I knew all about how Aunt Lois's burden with Uncle Kelly shifted from shooing him away from the stove, to nursing him through the remaining days of his life as he fought and lost a battle with cancer.

I'm sure there were many tears along the way for her, but I saw mostly smiles. Although I have to make it clear that I wasn't there for the funeral of Aunt Lois' daughter Sandra when she was killed by a drunk driver. I'm sure Aunt Lois'y wept then. And I guess she wept over her hardheaded son a time or two… just as my mother wept over me so many times.

I think I know another time that caused her to shed a tear.

For most of the 59 years that she lived on 19th St, Aunt Lois kept children. Today there must be hundreds of adults walking the streets of Jacksonville that played on her back porch as children. Well into her eighties Aunt Lois still kept children. Until one day, on that same back porch, a particularly enterprising little tyke managed to figure out the locking mechanism on the back door. As Lois sat there in her rocker, maybe reading the paper, that little fellow and another diaper-clad companion quietly exited that house and sallied forth on an adventure in the big wide world - while Auntie was completely unawares.

Across the street, another longtime resident sat rocking on her porch and saw these two little cradle crabs come scuttling down the driveway unattended. She told someone later that she kept looking for Mrs. Kelly to come along behind them, but she never did. Thank God for the old lady because had she not been sitting there idling the morning away the story could have had a tragic ending. As it was, Aunt Lois was beside herself, and to her credit immediately called both sets of parents and told them what happened. She realized that her child care days were over and took herself out of business. It pained her greatly I know.

I saw no tears these last few days. But I saw the twinkle gone from her eyes. Sometimes people seem to just take on an air of "readiness" as the end of life approaches. Sometimes you can see in an old person's face that they've gotten tired of this life and these clay vessels. I think I saw that look in Aunt Lois's face. It faded for a bit when she saw my children come to visit. She kept both my boys from the time they were in diapers until they went off to their first day of school. And she loved them like they were her own. Even as her mind grew foggy and the memories came harder for her, she still drew great joy from the faces of "her kids" - no matter what their ages were. I have clear memories of her getting excited and relating how someone had visited her that she'd once kept.

She had no shortage of love. And I will miss her very much.

Happy Birthday Aunt Lois'y!

Family links: 
  Harvey Elmer Moon (1898 - 1936)
  Cleo Sherrod Eidson (1904 - 1987)
  Vollie Lee Kelly (1903 - 1975)*
  Sandra Kelly King (1942 - 1984)*
  Lois Ernestine Moon Kelly (1920 - 2007)
  Barbara Moon Middleton (1922 - 1999)*
  Rachel Janet Moon Cowart (1924 - 2007)*
  William Jerdan Moon (1928 - 2015)*
*Calculated relationship
Restlawn Memorial Park
Duval County
Florida, USA
Created by: Tony Middleton
Record added: Aug 13, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56997679
Lois Ernestine <i>Moon</i> Kelly
Added by: Tony Middleton
Lois Ernestine <i>Moon</i> Kelly
Added by: Tony Middleton
Lois Ernestine <i>Moon</i> Kelly
Added by: Tony Middleton
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I miss you Aunt Lois.
- Tony Middleton
 Added: Aug. 15, 2010
This page is sponsored by: Tony Middleton

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