Christopher Rolfe Kelly was born on February 9th, 1955 at a US army hospital in Heidelberg Germany.  He died two days short of his 64th birthday on February 7, 2019 in First Health Hospice House in West End, North Carolina.  He grew up in the Mount Vernon area of Alexandria, Virginia. He enjoyed sports, fishing and did very well in school. He played on local basketball teams, and studied karate.   After graduating from Fort Hunt High School in 1973, he attended William & Mary College, where he received a B.A. in History. He wrote for the Flat Hat, the W&M newspaper, and after graduation, was accepted into the Masters of Journalism program at Columbia University.

After graduating from Columbia, and working for a trade publication in New York and Washington DC for a few years, he decided to pursue an academic life, and received a Masters in History from the University of Virginia.  For a few years he was in a PhD program at UVA and taught political science classes at William & Mary and Mary Washington College.

Eventually his love of all types of music and movies lead him to work at record and video stores in Williamsburg Virginia.  He eventually managed a branch of Plan Nine music stores in Williamsburg. Chris moved to Southern Pines in 2015 to retire and be near his brother, Jeff.

Chris was proud to be an over 50 year survivor of Type 1 Diabetes and epilepsy.  He may have had many health challenges in his life but he was blessed to have two loving and learned parents, Ruth and Merrill Kelly.  He will be remembered for his intellect, wry sense of humor and generosity. He left a collection of over 2,500 CD’s, vinyl records and DVD’s.

Chris’ parents were both North Carolinians, and he is survived many first cousins in North Carolina (and all over the country), as well as his brother, Jeff Kelly, and his brother’s partner, Scott Harris.  

A celebration of his life will be held in the future.  

Those wishing to make a donation in his honor can go to, which is fighting to end Type 1 Diabetes.

Powell Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Kelly family.

Condolences on line at

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