60 Things we LOVE about Papa!


May 10, 1954: 60 years ago today, my dad was born to Glennie Odale and Willie Rufus Kelly in Wadesboro, NC. Their firstborn and only child – LeGrand. Please note the spelling of LeGrand – it is rarely spelled correctly by anyone. Then again, neither is STARR 🙂

I had a phone conversation yesterday with my dad that summarizes exactly who he is in my life and why I am so thankful to still have him here to share in our family adventure – especially with his 2 crazy granddaughters! I picked up the phone for advice – and the minute he answered I lost it with tears streaming. Dad gave me such a great perspective and some excellent things to think through as I’m dealing with a challenge I’ve never experienced before (I’ll share more on this later – I wrote a blog late last night with more of those crazy details…you’ll have to wait til later in the week for that one).

Dad – you’ll never know what that conversation yesterday meant to me. Probably one of the highlights of my life with you. Right behind the day you dropped me off at Lee. I don’t know why that day stands out so strongly in my mind. Maybe that was the day I realized you were letting me spread my wings and fly (literally fly with 2 speeding tickets in Tenn to prove it..ooops). I appreciate you more than you will ever know. Not because you’re perfect, but because you are a living example of God’s grace to me in so many ways. You never give up when the going gets tough and you have raised me to have such a heart for helping others.

So, Dad – here’s to you and 60 amazing years! Tonight, we sat down and wrote a list of “60 Things We Love About Papa!”

Some of the items ya’ll will get and understand, some you won’t, haha! Yeah, we have our inside jokes too and often I like to refer to our hilariousness as “Life with the Pastor!” Enjoy 🙂

  1. He gives me kisses – Kayla
  2. I like to give Papa hugs! – Kylie
  3. Being my Pastor and my dad – Starr
  4. For being my Pastor over the past 14 years – Brian
  5. Take pictures on Easter – Kayla
  6. Holding Papa’s Hand – Kylie
  7. Going to Anson Sr High football games with the Band – Starr
  8. Sitting in the hot tub asking your permission to marry Starr – Brian
  9. He always lets me go first in Putt Putt – Kayla
  10. Going to eat at Sun Valley Cafe – Kylie
  11. Traveling on the Blue Ridge Parkway – Starr
  12. Beach trips with our family in the Spring and Fall – Brian
  13. Speeding tickets – Starr
  14. Living across the street from each other – Kayla
  15. Going to the Auction Barn and getting a GRAB BAG! -Starr
  16. He gives me cookies and sweets ❤ – Kayla
  17. The Family Restaurant
  18. AND The Mini-Mart
  19. AND The Christian Bookstore
  20. Pumping gas at The Mini-Mart after Hurricane Hugo – Starr
  21. For raising an AWESOME DAUGHTER!!! (Not Joy :)) – Brian
  22. Praying against the terrible boyfriends….hahah (they weren’t THAT bad!!) -Starr
  23. Grace when I stayed out wayyy past my curfew – Starr
  24. All the memories with Grandma and Papa – at their house and ours
  25. For marrying MOM!!!!
  26. For making me sit in the front pew at church because of talking…
  27. Giving me no choice but to sing in the choir
  28. Writing me a music arrangement to Amazing Grace for Teen Talent
  29. Christmas parades and concerts – my favorite: Sleigh Ride
  30. Your love for group texts messages…hahah!
  31. For giving me “My Utmost for His Highest” at Graduation – Starr
  32. Crying under your sunglasses the day you dropped me off at Lee
  33. For never giving up – no matter how tough times get
  34. Forgiveness of speeding tickets!
  35. Leading the choir at Wadesboro Church of God
  36. Accepting the call to preach
  37. Coming to my 6th grade class to let them know about picking on your daughter
  38. Teaching me to drive – Mr. Former Driver’s Ed Teacher
  39. Riding in the back of your Mazda pickup truck
  40. Family vacations to the Stack House & killing roaches!
  41. Fishing off the pier at Cherry Grove
  42. Band trip to Washington DC…windy!!!
  43. My first plane ride in Myrtle Beach
  44. The 1987 Mustang Convertible – that smoked while driving
  45. Finding out I would be a sister at 19 years old
  46. Chicken ‘n Dumplin Dinners at Church with fatback
  47. Sunrise services at Easter
  48. People Fest in Wadesboro and fried apple pies
  49. Ice water surprises when Tenn family is in town
  50. Ghost Town & Maggie Valley – the doll you brought me from Maggie Valley
  51. Your willingness to help others and have compassion
  52. The vision you have for our church to grow and minister
  53. Your love for Southern Gospel Music
  54. The hoarder syndrome – passed from Grandma to YOU to ME
  55. Your unconditional love for our children
  56. Advice on tough situations and a much needed outside perspective
  57. Your Reebok tennis shoes
  58. For teaching me the value of working hard and never giving up on my dreams
  59. Riding in your boat…wait!…
  60. Raising me in a Christian home and always taking me to church and instilling in me a heart to serve others.

Love you, Dad! Happy 60th Birthday

~ Starr, Brian, Kayla and Kylie

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