Kelli Loren Powell

kelli  powell
Kelli Loren Powell, age 56 died September 15, 2023, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center surrounded by her loving family. During her five-week hospitalization, Kelli was uplifted by visits from many dear friends. Born May 12, 1967, in Spartanburg, SC, Kelli grew up in AZ and NC and graduated from Southview High School in Hope Mills, NC. Inspired by her mother’s love of cooking, Kelli received her culinary arts degree from Johnson and Wales University which launched her career in the food industry. Kelli managed several restaurants in SC and NC, including The Chop House in Wilmington, NC where she forged many lifetime friendships. Kelli went on to work in food sales with Cisco and Whole Foods and then a real estate agent with Keller Williams. Kelli’s pride and joy was her family. She is survived by her wife of 17 years, Shay Gibson; her parents, Juanita and Mike Bahr of Crossville, TN; brother, Kevin Powell (Meredith and daughter Karson) of Nolensville, TN; sisters Kristen Olson (Mike and son Davis) of Charleston, SC; Jennifer Pence (Addam and daughter Henlee) of Nolensville, TN; in-laws Jane and Paul Gibson of Greensboro, NC.; sister in-law Sara Jane Gibson of Charlotte, NC; and beloved dog Izzy who was Kelli’s constant companion. Kelli was passionate about life and lived fully. She loved music, good food, the Sound of Music, and the Andy Griffith Show. She had a strong work ethic and a huge heart for helping others. Kelli made friends throughout her life and kept those friends close. Kelli suffered a major stroke in October of 2017. The cause of that stroke was not learned until 2020 when she was diagnosed with Primary Myelofibrosis, a rare bone marrow cancer. Despite the loss of function, speech, and independence, Kelli displayed courage, grace, and a strong loving spirit. Her mantra was to be kind, something Kelli embodied all the way to the end. The family wishes to express their gratitude to Dr. Sanjay Mohan and the Vanderbilt Hematology Clinic along with the Vanderbilt Infusion Clinic for their compassion and care. A special thanks also to family members, friends, neighbors, and colleagues for their countless acts of kindness during these past six years. A celebration of Kelli’s life will be held Saturday September 30, 2023, at 1:00pm at Glendale Baptist Church in Nashville, TN. For those unable to attend, the service will be live streamed. Because Kelli was transfusion dependent since her 2020 cancer diagnosis, the family encourages you to become a blood or platelet donor. Memorial contributions can be made to: the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society ( or Healing Heads Foundation ( whose mission is to ensure no stroke or brain injury survivor goes without rehabilitation due to financial status. Arrangements in the care of Compassion Funeral & Cremation Services, Nashville, TN (615) 857-9955. We proudly remain locally owned & operated.

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  1. Shay, Your love for Kelli was so evident and beautiful. Here for you and all the heart feels and heals. With care,Robyn

    A Memorial Tree was planted in memory of Kelli Loren Powell

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