Betty Kelly, Navy spouse

Betty Kelly, 93, an Army daughter and Navy wife who was involved in community organizations, died Feb. 17 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington County.

The cause was complications from a stroke, said a son, retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. J. Michael Kelly.

Betty Frances Brown was born in the Panama Canal Zone, where her father was stationed for the Army.

She was a 1937 graduate of Western High School in Washington and studied at an art school in the District before becoming a fashion model at Jelleff’s and Garfinckel’s department stores.

She married in 1939 and accompanied her husband on his Navy assignments before settling in the Washington area around 1960.

She was involved in her high school alumni organization and was a past member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington. She was a past board member of a local Alzheimer’s Association chapter.

She was a founding member of the board that started Vinson Hall, a McLean home for retired service personnel and their families. She had lived there since 2004, most recently at the Arleigh Burke Pavilion, part of the continuing-care facility on the Vinson Hall campus.

Her husband of 52 years, Navy Capt. John C. Kelly, died in 1991. Their daughter M. Kathleen Hall died in 2007.

Survivors include five children, retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. J. Michael Kelly of Chestertown, Md., Robert D. Kelly of Norfolk, retired Army Lt. Col. Jerome F. Kelly of Oak Hill, Va., retired Navy Cmdr. Thomas B. Kelly of Virginia Beach and Letitia Butler of McLean; a brother; 14 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.

— Adam Bernstein

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