Inez and Doyle Kelley
Christian Business Leaders – Philanthropists
Inez and Doyle Kelley represent a Hardin-Simmons love story of two people who have made a difference on the Forty Acres and in the world.
Dorothy Inez Tucker was born to Floyd Alfred and Zula Florence Morris Tucker in Wichita Falls, Texas on November 12, 1932, during the Great Depression that would result in her father losing his job with the United States Post Office and transitioning the family to the Panhandle of Texas. He was eventually hired by a landowner as a tenant farmer in the country community of Westway, six miles outside of Hereford. The six-member family lived in a three-room house with a water well, windmill, cattle, pigs and farmland to plow and plant. They worshipped at the Westway Baptist Church.
Inez started school at age five and spent her first three grades at the country school. Due to a major rural school consolidation, Inez skipped her fourth grade, graduating salutatorian of Hereford High School at 16 in 1949. Enrolling that fall at HSU, tuition was all her parents could afford, so Inez worked on campus in the office of the Dean of Students to earn enough for “the extras.”
Meanwhile, just 160 miles south of Hereford in the small community of Klondike, outside of Lamesa, Robert William Kelly and Nora Ann Stinnett Kelly had welcomed their son, Robert Doyle Kelley, and raised him in rural farming country on the South Plains.
Doyle entered Hardin-Simmons in the fall of 1947. He joined the “World Famous Cowboy Band” and had two years under his belt before Inez arrived.
It was on an ordinary day on the HSU campus when God worked His plan for their lives to intersect. As Inez was walking to her dormitory, Mary Frances Hall, she passed a friend walking in the opposite direction towards Ferguson Hall. He was with a guy dressed in Levi’s, a plaid shirt, and cowboy boots. He stopped her and said, “Inez, I want you to meet Kelley who lives on the same floor as me.” That introduction would result in nearly 60 years of marriage, beginning Valentine’s Day, 1951.
Once married, finances were tight. Doyle lacked one semester to graduate with a BA in Business Administration. Upon graduation in May of 1951, they moved to Lamesa where Doyle worked in his father’s Studebaker dealership.
In late 1954, Doyle joined Shell Oil company in Hobbs, New Mexico. In 1957, the couple moved to Midland where Doyle was promoted to an office position. In both Hobbs and Midland, Inez and Doyle were active members of the First Baptist Church. In those years they were busy raising their four children, Sheridan, Lane, Tracey, and Kerry. Today Inez and Doyle’s family includes seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
In 1963, Doyle and Inez launched a “factoring” business, KBK Financial, Inc., financing small businesses serving the oil industry. Doyle made certain that Inez was knowledgeable and involved in all aspects of the business. Both Doyle and Inez were blessed with excellent business acumen and an entrepreneurial spirit. In 1972, they moved their business headquarters to Houston.
After their fourth child graduated from high school, Inez worked in the business in various capacities, including Vice President and Acting President. The business continued to thrive until they sold KBK to a local banker. Inez and Doyle retained the parent company and changed the name to Kelley-Tucker, Inc. Doyle continued private investing until his death in 2009. When the time came, Inez was fully prepared to manage the closing of the business.
The Kelleys traveled widely, were involve in missions and non-profit organizations, and generously supported Second Baptist Church of Houston and Hardin-Simmons University. Over the last 40 years, there has not been a major HSU fundraising campaign in which they were not involved. Their financial contributions include endowing the Kelley College of Business and the Gallery displaying the HSU Hall of Leaders in the Skiles Building. Because of the generosity of the Kelleys, students in the Kelley College of Business and the Leadership Studies Program have received significant scholarship support. The Kelleys have also been members and generous supporters of HSU’s Cowboy Band Foundation and the School of Music Foundation.
Both Doyle and Inez have served on HSU’s Board of Trustees and Board of Development. Each has held Board Officer positions and served on the Executive Committee. Doyle served for a time as acting chairman of the Board and was the longtime chair of the finance committee. Inez served as chair of the honorary doctorate committee.
In recognition of their extraordinary accomplishments in business and for their exemplary work in God’s Kingdom, HSU is proud to add Doyle and Inez Kelley as the first couple to be jointly inducted into the HSU Hall of Leaders. Their influence and stewardship are exemplary and HSU proudly honors them today.