Felton Newton Kerley, 80, of Rockwall, Texas, passed away Dec. 25, 2011. Felton was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather, as well as a beloved friend to many. He will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. Felton was born on March 26, 1931 in Comanche, Texas to Elmer and Thelma Kerley. Felton graduated from Comanche High School in 1949. He later graduated from Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas in 1961 with a degree in business education.
Felton began working for the Santa Fe Railroad in 1950, beginning a career that lasted for 43 years. He retired from the railroad in 1993. From 1951 to 1958, he served in the Texas 36th Infantry Division of the National Guard. During this time, he achieved the rank of sergeant and was head of the radio division. In 1969, Felton began working part-time as a recruiter for Stenograph Institute of Texas. For 16 years, he traveled around the state of Texas recruiting students interested in pursuing a career in court reporting. After retiring from the railroad, he went to work for Enterprise in 1996. He enjoyed working for them for 15 years and officially retired in November of 2011 due to health problems.
Felton married Freda Elaine Kerley on June 29, 1951. They were married for 58 years and had two children: a son, who died in infancy, and one daughter born in 1962. In 1965 they moved to Sweetwater, Texas where they lived for 18 years. In 1983, they moved to Rockwall, Texas where he resided until his death.
Felton was a kind and caring man. His friendly disposition and easy going manner was outshined only by his love for God. His greatest delight in life was sharing his faith in Jesus Christ with others, and he was always willing to pray or minister to them in whatever way was needed. In Sweetwater, Felton served as a deacon at First Baptist Church and enjoyed teaching an elementary boys’ Sunday school class. While living in Rockwall, he and his wife were active members of Lakeshore Church for many years. Felton loved sailing and all things nautical. His favorite travels were ones that took them to tropical destinations. Felton loved talking to people and was full of stories that he would tell to anyone willing to listen.
Felton is survived by his daughter, Kathy Young and husband Phil of Rockwall, TX; five grandchildren, Audrey Butera and husband Jimmy, Abbey Keith and husband Chuck, and Nathan, Aimee, and Annie Young, all of Rockwall; one great-granddaughter, Chloe Keith; and one great-grandson who will be arriving in February. He was preceded in death by his wife, Freda Elaine Kerley; one son, William Bland Kerley; his parents, Elmer and Thelma Kerley; and one brother, Clifton Don Kerley.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011, at Lakeshore Church in Rockwall, Texas with Pastor Brad Howard officiating. Interment will follow in Rest Haven Memorial Park in Rockwall. The family will receive friends Wednesday evening at the funeral home from 5-7 p.m.