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Valerie Antoinette Hunter-Kelly began her life’s marathon on March 15, 1954, in Washington, District of Columbia. Her parents were Frances Hunter (nee Beeks) and Herbert L. Hunter. She lived in Washington, D.C. until pursuing a BS Degree in Biology from Hampton University (VA) and an MS Degree in Microbiology from Oregon State University. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She met Mark Kelly at Hampton University in 1973 and they were married on July 18, 1981 on Bolling Air Force Base.
Professionally, she was a nationally recognized real estate professional. As one of the owners of Keller Williams Realty-Clarksville, she has over thirty years of experience in the real estate industry, most notably as the Listing Specialist for The Air Assault Team. Her noteworthy accomplishments include selection as one of the Top 500 Most Powerful Women In Real Estate (1999); her listing in the Wall Street Journal & Real Trends Top 400 Real Estate Professionals (August 2010) and her listing in the Wall Street Journal Top 1000 Realtors (June 2011, 2012, 2013). In 2013, she was a co-host of “Three Ladies On the Radio” for WJZM-Radio in Clarksville, discussing concerns important to women in her community. Finally, Valerie was the only selectee as Champion of Fort Campbell (KY) for 2014. Champions of Fort Campbell are a select group of civilians who have made significant contributions to our men and women in uniform at Fort Campbell, KY, and are advisors to the Commanding General on matters that affect soldiers and their families. She was passionate about helping both civilian and military families make one of the most important decisions and investments of their lives. Her first hand experience as an Army spouse made her especially passionate & knowledgeable about military relocation.
Valerie also held a Graduate Real Estate Institute (GRI) designation, which is advanced training in all aspects of real estate; a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation, which is the highest designation in the residential real estate industry; and a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation from the Distressed Property Institute, which helps homeowners facing hardship.
Valerie was an active member of the Clarksville, TN community. She has served on the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, the YMCA Board of Directors, The Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Foundation’s Board of Directors, The Association of the U.S. Army’s (Fort Campbell, KY Chapter) Board of Directors, the Clarksville Ladies Auxiliary Museum Board, the Woodward Library Society at Austin Peay State University, the Clarksville (TN) United Way Board of Directors, the Board for the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) and the Clarksville (TN) Association of Realtors Board of Directors, and was President of the Clarksville Association of Realtors (2002). She was a graduate of Leadership Clarksville (2011), a member of the 2014 class of Leadership Middle Tennessee, and served on the Leadership Middle Tennessee Board of Directors as its Secretary (2014-2015). She was a member of the Clarksville Rotary Club and served on the Tennova Hospital Board of Directors (2015-present). She was a member of the ROXY Regional Theater’s and the Clarksville-Montgomery County Arts & Heritage Council’s Boards of Directors. Valerie was a member of Grace Church of the Nazerene.
After completing her first half marathon in 2012, she became an avid runner, with a mission to run a marathon or half-marathon in all fifty states and Washington, DC. In January 2020, she accomplished that goal when she completed a half marathon in Maui, Hawaii, along with many friends and family who traveled with her to celebrate the milestone.
She was lovingly surrounded by her immediate family when she crossed her final finish line on Saturday, November 7, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee.
Valerie leaves behind a legacy of determination, service, professionalism, humor, and a contagious zest for life. She loved travel, good food, meeting new people, problem solving, and a challenge. A treasured daughter, friend, and mentor, a leader, a wife, and a mother, she is survived by COL(R) Mark A. Kelly, her spouse of 39 years; her two daughters, Antoinette Nicole Kelly and Ashley Noel Kelly; her sister Beverly D. Hunter, Los Angeles, CA & her brother Herb T. (Jannette) Hunter, Henderson, NV. Viewing Thursday, November 12, 2020 12:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. at Foston Funeral Home. The family will receive her friends & colleagues on Thursday, November 12, 2020, from 4-8p.m. at Clarksville Grace Church of the Nazarene, 3135 Trenton Rd, Clarksville, TN 37040.
Her memorial service & interment will be held at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery West on Friday, November 13, 2020 at 12 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to the Food Initiative (5470 Sango Road, Clarksville, TN 37043), or the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center (200 S 2nd Street, Clarksville, TN 37040), or the Roxy Regional Theater (100 Franklin St, Clarksville, TN 37040).
Foston Funeral Home (931)647-5451
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