Vada Beth Kelley, age 83, passed away peacefully in Temple, Texas on May 12, 2023 surrounded by her family. Vada was born on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1940, in Lockhart, Texas. She was the third of four children born to Glenowen and Leona Kelley. Vada graduated from Ray High School in Corpus Christi in 1958. Vada, and the majority of her immediate family, was from the Corpus Christi area and surrounding communities.
Vada was a strong woman, fierce to protect and to be supportive of her family. She had four children with her second husband, William Exum, Debbie, Lana, Delaine and Troy. She was a Texas girl for sure always loving western music, family time, gorgeous sunsets and her family with her. Her third husband, Alfred Edwin Eckard, Jr., married Vada in 1968 and adopted her four children. For 25 years, until his death from terminal cancer, they raised their kids together in the Rio Grande Valley.
Vada was preceded in death by her parents, Glenowen and Leona Kelley, her former husband and her high school sweetheart, Mr. Rodney Davidson; Mr. William “Bill” Exum – the father to her four children, and to Alfred “Al” Edwin Eckard Jr. who adopted the four children.
She is survived by her younger sister, Billye Ann Osborn (Huntsville, Texas) and her two brothers; oldest brother Mr. Herschel Kelley (Corpus Christi, Texas) and her big brother Mr. Weldon Kelley and his wife, Sandra (Kerrville, Texas). Vada left behind four children: Ms. Debbie Goode (Abilene, Texas), Ms. Lana Marsh (North Carolina), Mrs. Delaine Durham and husband, David (College Station, Texas), and Mr. Troy W. Eckard and wife, Kathryn (Van Alstyne, Texas). Vada had 11 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. She also left behind many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Vada will be missed for her grit, spunkiness, love of country music and western dancing, milkshakes, BBQ, and the love of her children. She loved being born on St. Patrick’s Day so she could always decorate in green for her birthday!
Visitation will be at Seaside Memorial Park & Funeral Home in Corpus Christi, Texas on Monday, May 15th, from 11:30-12:30 P.M. with graveside services following at 1:00 P.M.
Arrangement entrusted to Seaside Memorial Park & Funeral Home, 4357 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412 (361) 992-9411.
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