Betty Jean O'Kelley

betty o'kelley
Betty Jean O'Kelley, 83, of Candler, died Tuesday, April 10, 2018, A native of Buncombe Co., Betty was a daughter of the late Roy Lee O'Kelley, Sr. and Onnie Suddreth O'Kelley. She was also preceded in death by her brother, Roy Lee O'Kelley, Jr. Surviving are her daughter, Beth Creasman (Tony); grandchildren, Zachary Creasman (Courtney Clark), Tucker Creasman, Sophie Creasman; and great-grandson, Camden Creasman. Betty graduated from Candler High School and later the University of Greensboro, or Women's College, and began her teaching career in Florida. She returned to this valley and taught biology and chemistry at Enka High School until her retirement. Betty loved the mountains of Western North Carolina and sharing the history of this area was very important to her; and she was a passionate advocate for the ecology of our valley. All animals, large and small, were friends to her and she will be missed by her 2 Scotties, Dugan and Skye. A memorial service for Ms. O'Kelley will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at Montmorenci United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Karen Kurtz officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Groce Funeral Home on Patton Ave. is assisting the family.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline


  1. I remember her saying that she wished we would all continue to live life after school. She told me once that too many people enjoy their high school years and then do nothing else but sit around and talk about high school after that without ever accomplishing more. She told me to enjoy my life all the way through and while memories are good, don’t just sit around reliving them. Continue to make more memories. Prayers for your family. She was a wonderful teacher with some great pieces of advice that I will always remember!

  2. My teacher, colleague and friend. All three of those roles overlapping. I’ll miss you my friend. You received the ultimate compliment when the little boy said ‘Oh boy! sloppy joes and Miss O’Kelley in the same day!’ You were loved. Beth and family I am sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers.

  3. Beth … I am sorry for your loss. I know Betty Jean will be missed by the many whose lives she touched in her classes, by her peers and especially by the family she loved dearly. During my 16 years at Enka High School, she was always available with a piece of advice and the support I often needed. One summer we spent many hours together refurbishing old furniture, I still have in my home today, and talking about her family and the students that meant so much to her. She left a legacy not to be forgotten…

  4. You will be missed Ms O’Kelley. You were one of the best teachers I ever had. Thank you for being tough and helpful.

  5. Praying for your family. Ms O’Kelly was one of my favorite teachers. I was also her teacher assistant my senior year. I have lots of great memories with her including she was the only teacher to send me to the principal’s office. I would sneak out of class 2 minutes early to get down the hall to meet my boyfriend at his class when the bell rang. Class of 1971

  6. Betty Jean was a dear tough and resilient cousin, loved by her family, and especially her sweet momma and beloved daughter. Betty loved her students and the mountains and was very quick to pass on her knowledge…you never left talking with her that you didn’t have new fodder for thought or some new jewel of knowledge, and her laugh was golden. I will always remember her inner and outer beauty, velvet voice, and the sparkle in her eyes when she spoke of those people and things that she loved, especially her dear Beth, Tony, and children. She was so proud of you and you brought her such happiness! I loved you dear cousin, and will think of you with your mom catching up on so many things in heaven now with all our loved ones. May your precious memories carry you through this time of sorrow dear Beth, Tony, and family….so many thoughts and prayers are with you.

  7. My thoughts and prayers are with the O’Kelley family. Betty will be missed by so many. Love to all the family and friends.

  8. Dear Beth and Tony, I am so sorry about your mom. We have all lost our mom’s in the last year and a half. I am lifting you and your family up in prayer. I always loved your mom’s sense of humor.

  9. She was like a second mom to me. I appreciated all she did to make me feel a part of her family when mine was so far away. She was a fabulous teacher and she adored her family. She left a presence in Hominy Valley that many people will always know. Love and prayers to the family and my dearest friend Beth.

  10. Just thinking Betty Jean O’Kelley brings a smile to my face. I worked with her at Enja High and have had the privilege to see her at the EHS faculty/staff reunions. She brought joy to all she met. I’m better for knowing her. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  11. I’m so sorry for your loss. She actually made chemistry fun! She was without a doubt, my favorite teacher! She will be missed.

  12. Beth, My deepest sympathy to you and your family. Betty was a great teacher and friend. I will miss our long chats at Ingles. She was a remarkable ‘individual’ in every sense. Sincerely, Dennis W. Jordan

  13. I am so sorry to hear about Ms. O’Kelley. She was my teacher at Enka High School. She was a great teacher and will be missed. God’s blessings on the family during this loss.

  14. My heart’s are with you. Always remember her keeping it real i had her as a teacher and i loved her brutal honesty

  15. So sorry for your loss. I loved and respected Betty Jean and she always showed the same to me. I just have to look around my yard to remember her, her love of plants and the knowledge she shared.

  16. Beth: You can only guess at the number of times that Betty had to bail me out of trouble when I first got to Enka in 1970. I always thought Big Mac needed some humor in his life and Betty Jean was kind enough to point out to me that yankee humor was not really appreciated by him. I loved teaching with your mom!

  17. Beth and Tony, so sorry for your loss. Your Mom was a gem and her class was one of the really good memories I have from high school, even though I was terrible at chemistry. Good reason I became a salesman! I hope good memories will ease the pain during this time.

  18. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. She was a wonderful teacher, and I have very fond memories of her.

  19. She was indeed one of my favorite teachers at Enka. I remember her classes fondly. She taught with humor, but used tough love when she needed to make sure we paid attention. She provided a good basis in Science and Biology and her memory will live on.

  20. Miss O’Kelley, was the best! I remember being ahead of the curve in her class and making GM an explosive out of iodine…. she could’ve killed me! But in the end we had a good laugh. She made science fun, and interesting. Rest In Peace. Class of 83

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle