Ellen Jean Beatrice Kelley White was the oldest daughter to the late Rev. Alfred Zee Jordan and Robbie Lee Curtis Kelley. Raised in East Nashville, Ellen Jean began a life of love, laughter, and dedication to her family, friends, and an abundance of hobbies.
As a child, Ellen would move throughout East Nashville building lifelong friendships with her intelligence, charm, quick wit, and sense of humor. Fervently dedicating her time and talents to the family church, First Baptist Church of East Nashville. As a lifelong member of the church, Ellen was a member of various ministries, including the Mass Choir and Missionary Society. Her love of her church and church family was evident to all.
Ellen Jean was educated in Nashville Public Schools, starting at Meigs, then becoming a proud “Tiger” graduate of Pearl High Class of 1962 and continuing on to become part of the “Big Blue” alumni of Tennessee State University.
A career dedicated to the service of others; a family trait inherited by both parents. Ellen Jean worked at Bell South Telephone Company and Tennessee Housing Development Agency where she met some of her dearest friends then went on to further her career goals of homeownership opportunities for families, with over 30 years devoted to the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency.
Ellen Jean was a lover of life and chose to live each moment to the fullest. She would enjoy the fall season, tailgating and cheering on her beloved TSU’s football team from “The Hole” to many away games. She also cherished her casino trips with friends, Carnival cruises with her Pearl High classmates, traveling to New Orleans with her daughter and her “krewe” for great food and plenty of laughs. Among her travels, Ellen Jean enjoyed her Ardent Garden Club, planting flowers and flower arrangements, Jumbo Bucks scratch offs, leisure reading, spending time with “the Minions”, and brunch with her beloved “Divas”.
Ellen Jean met and married Humphrey White and from that over 30-year union, she was blessed with her life’s heartbeat, her only daughter, Kelleya Bowling White. Ellen participated in every milestone, wiped every tear, and encouraged every accomplishment for 40-years with love, adoration, and pride.
Dynamic. Hilarious. Loving. Caring. Honest. Compassionate. Daughter. Sister. Aunt. Cousin. Friend. MOMMY. She will be missed.
Ellen Jean is preceded in death by parents, A.Z. & Robbie Kelley; brothers, Robert William, and A.Z. Kelley Jr.; nephew, Christopher Kelley; and great-nephew, Adrin Ohaekwe.
Ellen Jean leaves to cherish her memory, devoted and loving daughter, Kelleya B. White; dedicated sister, Canzada Kelley (Janiro) Hawkins; faithful nephews, Robert W. (Judy) Kelley, Kellye Steven (Cassaundra), Andronicus and Janiro II Hawkins; niece, LaNedria (Kyle) Marshall; great-nephews, Robert W. III, Trevon J. Kelley, and Cristian X. Hawkins; great-nieces, Porscha Kelley, Myla B., Maysa L., Mora N. Hawkins and Cssidy R. Hawkins, great-great nieces, Zamiyah, Zakari and Zyion Kelley; “fur” grandbaby Coco Lani; and a host of cousins, friends, relatives, adopted daughters and loved ones.