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Hope (Stevens) Kelley

August 6, 1971 ~ May 17, 2020 (age 48)

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On the morning of Sunday, May 17, 2020, while surrounded by her amazing and loving family, Hope Stevens Kelley, age 48, following a lengthy and very courageous battle with cancer, departed to be with the Lord at her residence.  The daughter of  Beverly Jo Ezell Stevens of Marion, North Carolina and the late Joel Ray Stevens, Hope was born in Morganton, North Carolina on August 06, 1971.



A 1989 graduate of McDowell High School, Hope excelled in Both Athletics and the classroom, while at the same time forming friendships that would last forever. After high school she attended MTCC earning a degree in industrial management. Once entering her work life, she quickly established herself as a hard working dedicated and respected team member no matter what the task was. Among her most cherished jobs was as a vet tech at the Animal Hospital of Marion, where she was able to apply her love for both people and animals at the same time. Fostering and often adopting dogs in need of forever homes touched her heart and was a testament to her character. She loved all of her furry friends. Just prior to her health declining, Hope worked as a correctional officer at the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Loved and respected by peers and inmates alike, she treated everyone with dignity and fairness, earning admiration from her actions. She touched many souls to this day with her kind heart.


Hope cherished all of her family and friends. There is no doubt that she is especially happy in reuniting with her Papa Joe, who preceded her into heaven.


Above all else, she loved her two children, they were her whole world. A mother could be no prouder than she was of her precious Shelby and Evan! The best parts of her will live on in them. Her beautiful face glowed brighter that the sun when Shelby was crowned Homecoming Queen her senior year of high school and again when she walked across the stage at Appalachian State after earning her degree. No mother cheered louder than Hope during one of Evans baseball games or wrestling matches. She so loved to see him play anything and was his number one fan win or lose.


Our beloved Hope will be terribly missed until the day we meet again in the holy presence of our savior Jesus Christ.


In addition to her father, she was preceded in death by maternal grandfather, Bevearl Ezell; and paternal grandparents, Fred and Aileen Stevens. 


Hope is survived by, in addition to her mother, her husband of 18 years, Robert Michael Kelley; two children, who were her pride and joy, Shelby Jo Lewis; and Evan Reese Kelley; and her maternal grandmother, Rhonda Ezell Ward.


Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, a celebration of Hope’s life will be held at a later date.  The date, time and location will be announced once the restrictions have been lifted.


It was Hope's request that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to Inheritance of Hope, a charity that serves families facing the loss of a parent, P.O. Box 90, Pisgah Forest, North Carolina 28768 or by visiting



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Inheritance of Hope
P.O. Box 90, Pisgah Forest NC 28768

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