Recently Soror Isabelle Atkinson Kelly was feted with birthday wishes for her 100th birthday from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., that includes the South Eastern Region, State of Florida, and local Beta Alpha Zeta Chapter of Jacksonville, FL. The celebration was a surprise caravan of cars filled with family, friends and sorors from her church to her home on Sunday, September the 6th.
Isabelle Atkinson was born on September 6, 1920, in Camden County, Ga. and was one of 10 children, and the first in her family to graduate from high school and go on to college. She has outlived all nine of her siblings. She moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1941, married in 1943 and became a widow in 1970. From this marital relationship, she gave birth to three children. While raising her children, she managed to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Math from Bethune Cookman College and a Masters Degree in Math Education from Florida State University. She taught math at historic Stanton Elementary and Paxton High School until she retired in 1986.
Isabelle Kelly was a devoted and loyal participant in many community and civic organizations in her active years. She was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Amer Assoc. of University Women (AAUW).
For the past five decades, she has been a financial member of the local Beta Alpha Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and has also held memberships with the National Council of Negro Women, Phi Delta Kappa Sorority and the National Chapter of Educators. Since 1953, she has been a faithful member of West Union Baptist Church, located on West Beaver St, of which her son, LeRoy C. Kelly is the pastor. She served on West Union’s Board of Trustees and also taught Sunday School. “Soror, Isabelle Kelly, in your 100 years, you have achieved a level of respect, love, and devotion from your community, family, friends and sorors. The lives you’ve touched are many. We are all so grateful for your presence here on this earth,” stated BAZ Soror Jackie Bartletto.