James Agee Kelly passed away Feb. 22, 2009, at the age of 73 after a lengthy illness.
Throughout his life on Earth, Agee was a dedicated and loving husband, father, grandpa, brother, uncle and friend, displaying a loving and gentle spirit to those around him.
Born in 1935, the son of James Patrick Kelly and Maggie Lou Burge Kelly, Agee spent most of his life in Montevallo. Upon graduating from the University of Alabama in 1957, where among other things he served as treasurer of Kappa Alpha Order, Agee was commissioned a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army, and he married Ann Kimbrough two weeks later. After serving at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas, and at the Nike Missile Site in Westport, Conn., where he advanced to 1st Lt., Agee returned to Montevallo in 1959 and began a long and distinguished career in banking at Merchants and Planters Bank, where his parents had worked since 1933.
In 1962, Agee became the president of Merchants and Planters Bank, a position he held until 1992, when he became the chairman of the board until his retirement in 1998. As a member of the Alabama Bankers Association, Agee served on a variety of committees and was recognized as the outstanding group chairman in 1977. His human touch contributed greatly to his success as a banker and was felt extensively in his community and church.
Agee served on the Montevallo City Council from 1962-72, was mayor pro-tem for four of those years and served as chairman of the Industrial Development Board for the city. Agee also held memberships and leadership positions in the Rotary Club, Montevallo Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts of America, the University of Montevallo Foundation Board of Directors, the Montevallo Golf Club, the University of Montevallo Falcon Club and the Shelby County Economic Development Council. He was honored as Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Montevallo Chamber of Commerce in 1984, was inducted into the University of Montevallo Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, was honored with the University of Montevallo Good Neighbor Award in 1993 and was named Rotarian of the Year in 2007.
As a lifetime member of the First United Methodist Church of Montevallo, Agee served as chairman of the board, trustees, finance committee, pastor/parish relations committee and lay leader. He also served on the board of trustees and board of pensions committee for the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Agee is survived by Ann, his wife of more than 51 years; daughter, Karen Kelly; son, Jim (Janice); granddaughters Lindsey and Elizabeth, all of Birmingham; brother, Pat Kelly of Montevallo; nephew Patrick Kelly and family of Nashville, Tenn.; and devoted caregivers and friends.
The family received friends at Rockco Funeral Home in Montevallo from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009. The funeral service will be held today, Feb. 25, 2009, at the First United Methodist Church of Montevallo, with burial at Montevallo Cemetery. The Rev. Bill Brown and Rev. Buddy Freeman officiate. Rockco Funeral Home is directing.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made to the First United Methodist Church of Montevallo, the University of Montevallo Foundation or the Parnell Memorial Library Foundation in Montevallo.