Ethel M. McKelvey

Funeral services for Ethel Mae McKelvey, 96, of Lawrence, will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, April 19, at First Southern Baptist Church, 4300 West 6th Street, Lawrence. Mrs. McKelvey died peacefully Saturday, April 14, at Brandon Woods surrounded by her family.

Ethel was born July 7, 1915, in Stratton, Nebraska, the daughter of James Elvis and Frances Ann Smedley Sanderson. She attended school in Desoto, Kansas and had cosmetology schooling at Vanity Beauty Shop in Lawrence. She married Herbert McKelvey on August 19, 1931, in Olathe, Kansas. She opened Ethel’s Beauty Shop in Lawrence in 1956. She was a member of First Southern Baptist Church, where she volunteered as a Sunday School teacher, the Knife and Fork Club, and attended Christian Women’s Club. She enjoyed reading, traveling, working on her yard, and visiting at nursing homes.

Survivors include two daughters, Virginia Noel, of San Diego, California; Barbara Forman, and her husband, John Forman, of Buckeye, Arizona; 7 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and 21 great-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Herbert McKelvey, on Oct. 31, 1984; daughter Vera Ruth McKenzie on Nov. 27, 1999; brother Robert Sanderson on June 29, 2011; and her parents and two sisters, Eva Shore and Ella Russell.

Friends may call from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, at the funeral home, and the family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until the service time on Thursday, April 19 at the church.

The family suggests memorials to the Grace Hospice in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.

Messages & Condolences

From Tom & Gloria...

Dear Ginny,
We are thinking of you and praying for God’s presence to be felt close to you and the family.
Love In Christ,
tom & gloria

From Linda M. McGuffin...

Dear Ginny –

I am very sorry to hear of your mother’s passing, but find peace knowing she’s wrapped in the arms of Jesus. God Bless you, Ginny.



From Mark McKenzie...

I’m proud to call myself a Grandmama’s boy.

I idolized my Grandma, I thought the sun rose and set on her. She and my Grandpa were an integral part of our family. She was truly my mother’s best friend, they spoke on the phone everyday and went grocery shopping together every Saturday. We went to church together, had Sunday dinners together, they went on every vacation with us, and we never went out to eat without them. I adored their company, they made me feel safe, secure and intensely loved.

I used to love to sit in Grandma’s beauty shop, reading magazines while she cut and styled women’s hair. I loved to sit at her lunch counter while she cooked, chatting the whole time. I loved to talk to her on the phone, I could call her up and talk for three hours, and it felt like barely any time had gone by. I loved to play cards with her, she taught me how to play Hearts and we played for hours. And I loved going camping with her and Grandpa. Some of my most precious memories are the vacations and camping trips I took with Grandma and Grandpa.

The sweetest image I have of my Grandma is that she always had hard candy in her purse, and she would always give us a piece after we came out of the bathroom. She always had hard candy, usually a peppermint or butterscotch, and they seemed to be reserved exclusively for bathroom breaks. Why she did that I’ll never know, but it was one of many endearing traits that made her the greatest Grandma in the world.

As precious as these memories are, I think what truly defined her is that she showered everyone with love. She and my Grandpa were enthusiastically affectionate, they led by example and personified what it means to give love freely. And while I’m sad at her passing, I’m happy knowing her dream of being reunited with my Grandpa has finally been fulfilled.

God Bless You, Grandma, and thank you for showering us with love.

From Peggy Gere...

Dear Ginny,
So sorry to hear about your Mother. My heart goes out to you and family at this sad time. God Bless you and may she rest in peace.
With Love, Peggy

From Roy and Gloria Pennel...

Ethel was a loving, kind and caring person. We have known her and been friends with her for many years.
She always had a warm, beautiful smile.
She had a strong faith in the Lord and was a great prayer warrior.
She will be missed by us and many others.

From Ofelia and Mart...

Our deep & sincere condolences for your loss.

From Sherie Mucia...

Dear Ginny, Bobbie, and family,
My heart and many others go out to you at this sad time. May God bless you and keep you and give you peace.
With love,

From Karen Clark (Kolars)...

Barbara,am so sorry to hear about your Mother,my prayers are with you and your family. Your Mother was a very nice lady. I would love to be able to see you or talk to you, my number is 785-766-0383. May the peace and strength of God be with you all. Karen

From Ben and Joyce...

We will very much miss the gentle, kind and generous person that Ethel was in her sojourn here. May all of you be comforted by your memories of her impact on your lives and by the knowledge that she is now at the ‘table of the Lord’ where she longed to be. (We are sorry that we will be unable to be at the celebration service.)

From Joan Stevenson...

we lost a great friend Saturday. She and I were in the same Sunday School class for years and years, and Herb was the leader of the RAs for years and my son just loved him. I know she will be greatly missed by all of you and she never stopped praising her family!

From Chris, Michelle, Robert, Carly, Jessika Forman...

Ethel M. McKelvey,
the greatest Grandma there ever was.

We miss your smile,your loving hugs, the grace of your wisdom, the smell of your Beauty Shop. My memory is still refreshed every time I eat tomatoes and cottage cheese. The times spent around your lunch table in Lawrence, surrounded by family, laughing and eating will be remembered forever. Thank you for cooking those fish Grandpa and I brought home to you without any complaint. The way you treated family is how I have tried to raise my family because of your positive influence. You will be missed to the core of our souls. Thank you Lord for blessing our family with the love of the greatest!

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