Local businessman dies

Published 4:13 pm Thursday, February 2, 2012

Brewton businessman Lavon Kelly passed away Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012 — leaving behind a legacy that touched the lives of many families in the area.
Kelly was a part of the community for more than 50 years, serving as funeral director at Craver’s Funeral Home until December 2010 when he retired. At his retirement, his son, Barry VanHoosen was joined by Heath Wilson to continue ownership of the business and serve the people of the community.
“He was always kind to me,” Wilson said. “He took up a lot of time with me when I decided to go into the funeral business, When I was 16 years old my great-grandfather died and I asked Mr. Kelly if I could ride with him in the hearse to the cemetery and he said that I could. I never forgot his kindness to a young boy who wanted to be like him.
“Years later he gave the opportunity to buy into the business when he retired,” he added. “He was a kind and generous man and he will be missed by all that knew him.”
Kelly was a native and former resident of Pensacola, Fla., but lived his childhood in Pollard before moving to Brewton more than 50 years ago. He began his career at Fisher-Pou Funeral Home in Pensacola, and later worked for Marshall Craver at both Craver’s Funeral Home and Flomaton Funeral Home. He later bought them and began a career that lasted the rest of his life.
Kelly was not only a business man, but he was active in the community, belonging to the Brewton Rotary Club, Knights of the Round Table and a member of Pollard United Methodist Church.
Fellow member of the Brewton Rotary Club, Thad Moore, said he has known Kelly for many years.
“He really cared for the families in their time of need,” Moore said. “I think he was a true Southern gentleman. He loved this community. He was a hard worker and a good businessman.”
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Shelby Kelley of Brewton; three daughters, Belinda Hintze of Crofton, Md., Beverly Cheniae of Virginia Beach, Va., and Brenda Kelly of Flomaton; three sons, Barry VanHoosen of Brewton, and Larry VanHoosen and Larry VanHoose, both of Mobile; a sister, Sue Jarrett of Pensacola; 10 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren and a number of family members.
Visitation will be Saturday, Feb. 4, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Craver’s Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, Feb, 5, at 2 p.m. at Craver’s Funeral Home chapel with the Rev. Floyd Dyal and the Rev. Johnny White officiating. Burial will follow at Pollard Cemetery with Craver’s Funeral Home directing.
Please share your memories and condolences with the family at www.craversfh.com.