of Little Rock, AR
December 2, 1930 - October 21, 2021
Eva Grace Kelley, 90, of Parkway Village in Little Rock, Arkansas, went home peacefully to be with Jesus on October 21, 2021, surrounded by members of her immediate family listening to the hymns of faith that she loved. She was born on December 2, 1930, to Arch Long and Maudie Mae (Bledsoe) Long in Coxton, Kentucky. Eva graduated from South High School in Lima, Ohio (1949) and earned her Cosmetology licenses in Ohio, Maine, and Florida. She married Dale E. Smith from Leetonia, Ohio, on June 17, 1953, and moved to Caribou, Maine, in 1954. They had five children Melanie (Eric) Stockholm of Maumelle, Arkansas; Douglas (Karen) Smith of Indianapolis, Indiana; Dennis (Jane) Smith of North Hampton, New Hampshire; Jeffrey (Janice) Smith of Brunswick, Maine; and Timothy (Joan) Smith of Limerick, Maine. She was also proud of her 15 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren who lovingly caller her "Glitter Grammie." Eva was hard working and a self-made woman..from lowly beginnings as a coal miner's daughter to a successful business woman owning her own "Gold-Medallion" Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio and a five-chair beauty salon in Portland, Maine. She passed on her love for "decorating" the people and the world around her..making her family and everyone she met feel better about themselves. She loved planning and serving family and friends in her home with over-the-top decorations, food and love. Everyone felt better after being with Eva. She was always cheerful and encouraging sending notes and thoughtful little gestures to those who needed a little extra attention.After living in Portland, Maine, for over 25 years, she moved to Dowling Park, Florida, where she continued her hair business and (as her family nicknamed her) the "mayor" of the village. She was famous for planning birthday parties each month with decorations, a program, and refreshments for scores of residents. When her health declined, Eva and her beloved Shih Tzu, Abbey, moved to Little Rock to be close to her daughter, Melanie. Her residence was Parkway Village where she participated in skits and other planned activities. With her love for plants and decorating, her home and yard became a focal point of the neighborhood with flowers and seasonal decorations cheering everyone who walked or drove by.Eva's life left us with fond memories in so many ways. For the family our New Year's celebrations, Memorial Day garage sales and BBQ, birthday parties, Sunday noon pot roasts, motor coach trips, friendly cheating at card games, cinnamon rolls, golf cart rides with Abbey and many more. Others will remember her for her welcoming hospitality, a ready smile, encouraging words, cards and phone calls, and of course her holiday pecan sales. Wherever she went, she made a lasting positive impression on everyone.There will be a celebration of Eva's life on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, at 11:00am in the chapel of First Baptist Little Rock with a luncheon to follow. If you are unable to attend, you can view the service with this link which will be archived and available on our church website. www.fblr.org/evakelley
Oh how I have missed my best friend and confidant, Eva and Abbey of course, since they moved to Little Rock. That was a sad day! This is a glad day to know that she is with her Lord and that they are waiting for me. The love I have for Eva will never die, and my husband, Joe, and I will never forget her smile, her warmth, her laughter, her wisdom and definitely, her charm, and might I add, her beloved Abbey.Until we meet again, my dearest Eva.
We have missed you since you left for little rock, but we know we will meet again.
My late husband Ricky and I first met Eva many, many, years ago. She was a young energetic woman in Portland, Me., and she gave me, (and my little dogs), the personal and caring attention that very few had ever provided. She immediately became my friend, and I treasure her friendship to this day. I last visited Eva when she lived at the Advent Christian Village in Florida. She was a popular and sought-after person in the community, having skills and talents that many desired. She was also headstrong and independent, and did not hesitate to let me use the lot next to her home, even though she did not actually own it. "Forgiveness is much more likely than permission" was what she said to us, and I worried about nothing, as Eva was my friend. She is a big, big part of my life. I am grateful to know her, and my heart will always be with her. You have met Jesus, Eva, and you and I will meet again, in the House of the Lord .
She was a very sweet and classy gal. I am thankful I got to know her, and some of the extended family.Good memories. Blessings, Pat Allaire
I am so sorry for your loss. She was truly a kind, loving, spirited woman.
Knowing Eva brightened my life at Parkway Village after I met her not long after moving here in February of 2019. I wanted to know whoever lived in that location, for it was always seasonally decorated with both real flowers and occasional artificial ones., so we began to visit on my daily walks. I would often chat with her as she drove her golf cart, with her precious Abbey walking along beside her, leashed of course...quite a sight!! I took their picture together more than once! Over the past several months before she died, she enjoyed but was still improving her new patio, with with its own special rug, coordinated colors, and comfy chairs, an area for friends to gather and chat with her. She brought to life lines from a popular old poem " I want to live by the side of the road and be a friend to man (and woman!)". I truly came to love Eva and would ask her to tell me more about her amazing life and much-loved children with whom she had weekly phone call visits. I marveled at her ingenuity, energy, creativity, and resilience no matter the situation. I miss her very much but her spirit continues to live in my heart and head! Pat Lile
Praying for you and your family!🙏❤️
Eva, one of our Lord’s most Precious Angels whom we already miss but rejoice that we will be seeing her again - soon & very soon
Melanie and family we send our deepest sympathies to you at this difficult time.We fondly remember your beautiful mom and her years of contributions at The Caribou United Baptist Church she wasLoved and admired by the entire church community. May your wonderful memories sustain you she is safe and sound with Jesus we should be so lucky -
Thinking of you and always in my prayers.blessed to beyour friend.
I will see you later Eva.
Eva was a very sweet lady, not surprised to find out she was a cosmetologist. She was beautiful on the outside and inside. Always a smile on her face and a kind word. I cherish the Valentine she sent this year in the pandemic with the message: I miss seeing you Donna. The name Eva Grace fits her so well. She was a lady of Grace and charm and she loved Jesus. Melanie is a carbon copy.
Our deepest condolences for the loss of Grammy. We did not have the honor of meeting her, but she did make our daughter immediately feel loved and beautiful. We know that she has left a hole in the lives and hearts of those to whom she loved and ministered.
Eva was so sweet, always smiling and positive. She cared deeply for missions and for several years she would purchase fine pecans and sell them to make money for missions. If you didn't know Eva, then look at her daughter, Melanie. They were very much a like as they loved the Lord and wanted to spend their lives serving Jesus. She will be greatly missed.
Eva was a lovely lady in every way. She was fun to have a conversation with. I’ll miss seeing her drive her golf cart around our campus.
Mrs. Eva was a beautiful sweet soul. I'm glad that I had the privilege to meet her.
As one of the Transportation Drivers at Parkway Village, I had the privilege of being one of her drivers. I was Blessed with getting to know her, and will miss her friendship!
I had the pleasure of being one of her drivers at Baptist Parkway over the past couple of years.I will miss her friendship.My prayer’s and thoughts go out to her Family and friends.Marco