Ronald Lloyd Kellam
Ronald Lloyd Kellam died Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 in Antelope Valley, California. He died suddenly while engaging in one of his favorite activities, a transcontinental journey in his 1996 Ford Ranger pickup truck, exploring new country while his odometer registered 300,000 miles and climbing.
He was born in Portland, Maine on October 21st, 1928. His father, Robert Kellam, was a paperhanger, and his mother, Freda Edith (Nelson) Kellam, raised ten children. He grew up in Portland during the Depression, and attended the North School from kindergarten through eighth grade, and then Portland High School. After graduating from high school, he served in the Army in Korea for two years, attended Bates College on the G.I. bill, served in the Navy for a year, then attended Boston University and Boston University Law School.
While studying law in Boston, he met a young nursing student from Arkansas named Floye Hazel Shannon. They were married at Park Street Church in Boston in 1952, and then moved back to Maine where Ron began a private law practice. In 1958, he began a career in Maine state politics by successfully running for a seat in the state legislature. He was appointed to a District Court judgeship by Governor Kenneth Curtis in 1974, and served as a judge until he retired in 1988.
His “lovely girl” Hazel died in 1995. After a difficult period of mourning Ron, as was his nature, embraced the rest of his life. He met Olive Sherman on an Elderhostel trip in 2000, and they were companions until her death in 2013. Ron’s time with Olly expanded his world and renewed his life. They enjoyed years of hiking in Colorado, socializing with their many friends, and travelling to distant parts of the globe.
Ron Kellam possessed a powerful intellect and an intense curiosity about the world around him. He had a deep sense of the sadness of life, but he knew that tragedy cannot be separated from comedy, and he had a monumental sense of humor, much of which he trained on himself. Perhaps what will be missed about him most is the sound of him laughing, and the sight of him living life to the fullest.
Ron is survived by his three children, Linda, of Minneapolis; Steve, of San Jose, California; and Janice, of Portland, Oregon. He is also survived by his brothers, Jim Kellam, of West Hartford, Connecticut, and Tom Vail, of Vero Beach, Florida; and by three grandchildren, Margaret, David, and Tim.
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