Emily Welch Kelly

kelly emily welch

Emily Welch Kelly, 79 of Wytheville, passed away on Saturday, April 27, 2024. She was born in Pulaski, VA on April 14, 1945 to Harley Welch and Emily Cassell Welch.

Emily was raised in Wythe County, VA on the family-owned farm, otherwise known as Horseshoe Farm. It was here that she developed a love of riding and showing horses.

Emily learned to ride horses at an early age and won many accolades. At 13, she was a world champion equitation and a 3 gaited Saddlebred Horse rider.  She judged Saddlebred and Racking Horse classes at many local horse shows. She was also an active member and officer for 25 + years of the American Saddlebred Horse Association of Virginia (ASHAV). Emily was the New River Valley Horse Show committee and show manager for over 25 years as well.

She began showing horses again in the early ‘80s, then switched her love of Saddlebreds to American Quarter Horses and spent many hours riding trails with friends.

Emily loved dogs of all breeds, but especially Red Heelers and Australian Shepards and always had one by her side.

In her lifetime she worked at Draper Valley Market, I-81 Truck Stop and Complete Towing. Emily was an excellent bookkeeper and manager.

Emily attended Pulaski County Public Schools, St. Anne’s in Charlottesville and Marjorie Webster Junior College in Washington, DC.

She is survived by her three children, Mac Kelly (Courtney), H Kelly (Shannon) and Kam Powell (Charley). In addition, Emily is also survived by seven grandchildren, Conner and Larson Kelly, Dylan Aker (Conner), Justin Aker, Riley and Cooper Kelly and Grayson Powell.

It should also be mentioned that her long-time dear friends, Sally Beahm, Steve Wohlford and Nancy Burris were consistent in their kindness and care of Emily over many years and their faithfulness in visiting her both at her home and at the skilled nursing facility during her illness.

The family would also like to thank Hillsville Heath and Rehab center for not only their medical care but their kindness toward Emily during her stay with them. Hospice of Wythe County was also instrumental in making Emily’s transition a comfortable and peaceful experience.

A private service will be held at the family farm at a later date.  Vaughan-Guynn-McGrady Chapel is serving the family.