Dr. Perry Kelly

June 2, 1925 ~ October 29, 2018 (age 93)


Dr. Isaac Perry Kelly, age 93, formerly of Cullowhee, NC died October 29, 2018 in a local health care facility. Mr. Kelly is survived by his brother John C. Kelly (Angelina), W. Clifton Kelly (Jean), Ross Beard Kelly (Carol); sister, Florence Kelly (Tommy). He was preceded in death by his parents, Junious Orbie and Flossie Bay Davis Kelly; step-mother, Mary Ruth Kelly; brothers, W. Edd Kelly, James E. Kelly, John Marvin Kelly, Junious W. Kelly; sisters, Thelma Louise Kelly, Margaret Ann Kelly, Mary Trease Kelly.

Dr. Kelly was an Army Air Force veteran of WWII. He attended the University of Hawaii for two years then received his B.D. and M.E.D. from the University of Florida. He completed his doctorate in art and education at George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Kelly then taught art and geography in Orlando, Florida. His travels took him to all the countries of Scandinavia and eastern and western Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Guatemala, Honduras and others. He was a visiting professor at Yunnan University in Kunming, China.

He later served as Supervisor of Art Education in North Carolina. His far reaching contribution to the arts put an art teacher in every public school in the state of North Carolina. His persistent work resulted in a legislative mandate that students graduating from a Class A high school had to have one year of art class. In 1968 Western Carolina University called Dr. Kelly to take over the newly formed art department. Following his retirement from WCU in 1990, Dr. Kelly then went to the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, after a number of years there he again retired and returned to WCU to teach fiber arts. In addition to his innumerable works of art, Dr. Kelly was the author of three books.

Dr. Kelly will be buried with his parents in Edison, Georgia in Mars Hill Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery.

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