Kelshall Mervyn Baptiste, affectionately known as "Kelly", was born on August 19th, 1944 in Gasparillo, Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies. He was “one of one”, an original soul that brought laughter and storytelling with him throughout his journeys in life. When he spoke of his childhood, he spoke of his upbringings with his grandmother, his time spent living near the beach surrounded by nature, and the family that he connected with from childhood throughout his years.
In his twenties, he traveled and worked throughout the Caribbean and South America. He worked as an electrician, petrol station worker and learned other skill sets that he would end up taking along with him on the open waters as a shrimp boat fisherman. When he was not traveling or working, he spent time entertaining friends, playing soccer and cricket. His interests in traveling to new places led him to relocate to the United States.
Kelly's entrepreneurial spirit began in New York after a brief stay in Ohio. He supported himself by creating moving businesses, creating retail businesses, being a driver and eventually leading him to managing multiple properties as an owner/ landlord. He learned the ins and outs of New York City while making many friends and reconnecting with family that also relocated to the United States.
On December 6, 1978, Kelshall "Kelly" Baptiste married Theresa Mellieon. They were married 38 years, bearing one son during this union: Michael Kelshall Baptiste. Kelly was a hard worker and later became employed at Kingsbrook Hospital, where he made additional friends as he had done throughout his journey. Kelly and Theresa were active in New York, participating in family gatherings along with bowling, gardening, hosting parties at their home in Brooklyn and so much more.
Kelly later relocated his family from Brooklyn, New York to Decatur Georgia. In Georgia, Kelly continued his entrepreneurial drive and became an owner/operator of Kelly Limousine Service. With Theresa at his side, he raised his son Michael and changed occupations a few more times as needed. He worked with the Georgia Department of Transportation as a commercial driver and DOT worker. He later on returned to driving taxis while telling his stories and creating conversations with passengers who ranged from the anonymous to the famous.
Kelly was a cultivator of plants and trees, an interest that he shared with his wife. They both enjoyed spending time raising plants and gardens. Growing fruit trees was Kelly's pride. He was fortunate to encounter friends and family that he could share whatever he had grown from his peach trees, pear trees, fig trees and garden. He was also a very good cook, making traditional Trinidadian meals that he prepared for his family and friends. Making holiday drinks that he would give to others, Kelly filled the house with laughter and music as he enjoyed playing his vinyl records that ranged from calypso, soca, r&b and special requests.
Kelly had a great sense of humor and was generous with helping others when he could. Those who were fortunate to be around Kelly experienced a loving, bright and friendly embrace. Kelly, "Poppa", was able to share his spirit, humor and energy with his two grandchildren. Kelly was preceded in death by his wife Theresa Baptiste, who passed away in 2017. Kelly later relocated to Charlotte, NC to live with his son and his family as they prepared to relocate to Myrtle Beach, SC; a landscape he was looking forward to reliving.
On Friday, February 19th, 2021, Kelshall "Kelly" Baptiste went home to rest with the Lord. Left behind to cherish his memory are his son, Michael Baptiste; his daughter-in-law, Tameka Baptiste, his grandson, Taurence Baptiste and granddaughter, Monét Baptiste, all of Myrtle Beach, SC. His passing is also mourned by: Veronica Carey (Garnett), Avear Carey, Apear Carey, Charmaine Klausner (Jeff), Curtis Lewis (Mercedes) and Cedric Lewis (Althea), Vilma Browne (Garth), Frederick "Freddy" Alleyne (Florence), Timothy Alleyne, LouAnn Haynes, Alex Alleyne, Ralph Richardson (Cynthia), Audrey Allsopp (Winifred Clarke), Everton Allsopp (Kathy Ann), Aldwyn Allsopp (Jenn), Clyde Allsopp (Clyde Jr), Noel Rampersad (Denise), Selwyn Phillips (Vilma), Herbert Elliot (Lucy), Marcia Daniels (Roxanne), Francine Jacobs, Kenya Vickers (Frank); a host of Godchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins and beloved friends too numerous to mention. Kelly was dearly loved and will be greatly missed.
Kelshall "Kelly" Baptiste of Myrtle Beach passed on February 19, 2021. There will be a chapel service held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, 2021, inside of the Ocean View Funeral Home, Myrtle Beach Chapel Ocean View Funeral Home will be assisting this family.
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