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Bessie Mae Ely

Bessie Mae Ely Photo corrected

Bessie Mae Ely, 81, passed away Thursday, March 1, 2018 at her home in Gun Barrel City surrounded by her family. Bessie was born August 27, 1936 in Kennard to Fred Wallace Kennedy and Effie Mae Riordan Kennedy. She graduated from Kennard High School and received a degree in Business Administration from the Rutherford Business School. After retiring as President of Exxon Mobil Credit Union, she went home to become the family “Caregiver,” caring for her mother, father, brother and several other family members. She also raised dogs to supplement her income, this is where she got her love of dogs.

Bessie is survived by her brothers, Clarence “Buddy” Kennedy of Jacksonville, Claude Kennedy and wife, Wanda of Kennard, Joe Kennedy and wife, Cindi of Alpine; sisters, Barbara Lou Mills of Bonham, Eva Harlen of Bonham, Clara Belle Ries of Gun Barrel City, Jane Kennedy of Colorado, Mary Jane Brown of Missouri; stepson, Dutch Yates and wife, Dona of Saginaw; granddaughter, JoAnn Yates of Saginaw; numerous loving nieces, nephews and friends whom she loved and cared for as her own.

Bessie was preceded in death by her parents, Fred and Effie Kennedy; brother, Freddie Kennedy; sisters, Dorothy Stelle, Lydia Jo Jones; husbands, Willis Yates and Curley Ely; nephew, Steven Espedal.

Graveside services for Bessie Mae Ely will be held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, March 10, 2018 at the Ivie Cemetery with Rev. Bobby Oberlechner officiating. The family will receive friends from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Callaway-Allee Funeral Home. Online condolences may be left at



  1. Bessie was a sweet lady and a hard worker. I’m sorry about her passing . She certainly deserves a peaceful and heavenly rest.

  2. May God be with all of the family in your time of grief.

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