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Obituaries » Anita J Hill-Kelly

Anita J Hill-Kelly

January 21, 1934 - July 11, 2017

July 13, 2017
11:00 AM

Memorial Services of Iowa
4208 North Ankeny Blvd.
Ankeny, IA 50023
(515) 964-0592

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Anita Hill-Kelly died peacefully in her sleep surrounded by family at her daughter’s home on Tuesday following a year and a half of cancer challenges at the age of 83. Born in 1934 as one of seven children to Freeda and Ben Cook in Seymour, Missouri, Anita transplanted to Ankeny where she lived for over 50 years.

Anita left an impoverished home (her father passed when she was 10) with a friend at the age of fifteen and rode a bus to Kansas City to strike a life for herself. Did she ever. Once in Kansas City, Anita lied about her age to secure a job in a café and then in retail where she had no problem selling to those who had much more than her. It was in Kansas City in the 1950’s that Anita secured an independence and business acumen which was exceedingly rare for a woman of the era. She overcame many challenges, transforming into the inspiration she was.

Once she moved to Ankeny, Iowa, Anita was not about to settle for ordinary. She then owned and operated Landmark Carwashes in Ankeny and Des Moines, owned and operated multiple area businesses as well as owned and rented out multiple properties. This was no ordinary woman.

Anita was a pioneer for women before it became political, a true matriarch, Anita was a successful businesswoman. Above all, Anita was a devoted parent, grandparent and great-grandparent.

Anita was preceded in death by her husband Steve Kelly and former husband Jack Hill, her parents Freeda and Ben, Sr., four siblings who reached adulthood, Freeda Elizabeth, Fred, Elston, and Jean.

Anita is survived by her only daughter Kay Oberender; Grandchildren, Jaime (Cory) McClure and Zac (Mitzi) Oberender; Great-grandchildren, Caden, Quinton and Piper as well as two brothers Phillip Cook and Ben Cook. Anita is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and other extended family.

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