Varonna Bernice (Jones) Kelley

Varonna Bernice (Jones) Kelley, passed away on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, at Livingston HealthCare. She was the fourth of eight children, born to Daniel Raymond Jones and Jesse Paralee (Winn) Jones of Paragould, Arkansas, on November 14, 1932. She was preceded in death by her husband Fay Richard Kelley, of Blackfoot, Idaho, her parents, as, well as her oldest brother Kenneth Elmo Jones, older sister, Wanda Lee Hilderbrand, younger brothers and sisters, Carlos Ray Jones, Shirley May Meier, and Glenda Ann Vick.      

She is survived by her elder sister Letha “Loveeta” Youngberg, of West Valley City, Utah, and younger brother Paul Dennis Jones, of Fresno, California. She is also survived by her eldest son Douglas Richard Kelley, her daughter-in-law, Tracey Kelley, and her grandson, Michael Shea Kelley, all from Florida; her second son, Roger Wade Kelley, her daughter-in-law Cheryl “Susan” Kelley, her grandsons, Samuel Morgan Kelley and Ryan Alexander Kelley, of Fort Collins, Colorado; her daughter Laryssa Ann (Kelley) Viers, son-in-law Russell “Rusty” L. Viers Jr., of Livingston; her grandchildren, Clinton Russell Viers, Celeste Yvonne (Viers) Fudge; as well as many nieces, nephews, and three great-grandchildren all of whom she loved.

Those who knew Varonna, would know of her insatiable love of animals, and particularly dogs. That love was only surpassed by her love of her God, Jehovah.  

She knew from the time she was just 6 years old that she wanted to be a missionary and spread the knowledge of the good news of God’s Kingdom in other lands. After their marriage, on June 6, 1954, she and her husband served as traveling ministers of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In 1957, she realized her dream of being a missionary, when she and her husband were invited to the 29th class of the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead, located at the time in East Lansing, New York. They graduated July 28, 1957, and were sent as missionaries to Japan, where they studied Japanese 11 hours a day to help them in their new preaching assignment.  They had served there for one year when she became pregnant with Douglas and so they returned to the United States on the S.S. Argentinian Maru.

Varonna never lost her love of the Japanese culture, its language, and people. She would often recite the presentation she had used there, speaking about God’s purpose and hope for humankind.

Although her family and friends are saddened by her passing, she did not want anyone to grieve excessively, for she knew from her Bible training that she would rest in a sleep-like state until her God, Jehovah, raised her BACK TO life in a restored paradise earth, where she would enjoy perfect health, happiness, and peace, her youth restored by her beloved God, Jehovah through his son, Jesus Christ.

A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10 Kingdom Hall, 1365 E. Gallatin St. in Livingston. All community members are welcome to attend.