Frederic Jefferson Kellam III
August 17,1946-August 25, 2022
Kellam, Frederic Jefferson III, of Richmond, Va., passed away on August 25, 2022 at Beth Sholom Parkside. He had recently celebrated his 76th birthday.
Jeff surprised everyone when he arrived two months early on August 17,1946 in Norfolk, Va., while his family was vacationing at Virginia Beach. He was left there in an incubator when his family returned home to Alexandria. His twin sisters, Courtney and Dana, four years his senior, could not wait for him to get home from the hospital so they could pick on him!!
Jeff was the son of Frederic J. Kellam Jr. of Indiana, Pa. and Martha Jane Bodley of Wynnwood, Pa. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Dana White Quinlan. He is survived by his sister, Courtney Kellam Riffe and her husband, Darrell, of Memphis, Tenn.; his nieces, Dana Gardiner of Washington, DC and Robin Burrhus of Frederick, Md.; his nephew, James White of Memphis, Tenn.; his first cousin, Shelly Elliott of New Orleans, La.; and other family members and dear friends too numerous to mention.
Jeff graduated High School from Church Farm School, an Episcopal Boys School in Exton, Pa., where he worked on the farm as well as on his studies! After a year at Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa he completed his education at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Va. He was employed by Texaco and later by John Hancock Insurance Company, where he sold life and long term care insurance.
Jeff’s experiences were broad and varied. A victim of polio as a young child, he spent time at a sanatorium in an iron lung, an experience he tried to block from his memory. As a young man, he lived on Gibson Island, Md. He adored the water and loved to sail and race on the Chesapeake Bay. He crossed the Atlantic with his mother on vintage liners such as the Queen Mary and the MS Rotterdam V and cruised many times with his sister and brother-in-law which was a real joy. Other travels took him to Africa on safari, the Far East and South America. He loved to eat and was known to order lamb chops for breakfast! Jeff said, “I learned one thing on my travels. There is nothing more precious than the things you do for others.”
When Jeff moved to Richmond he quickly embraced the life of the City. He purchased, lived in, restored and sold several wonderful homes and condominiums in the Fan, on Monument Avenue, at the Prestwould and at 5100 Monument. He was energized by the challenge and excitement and considered each project a creative enterprise. During many of these years, he was rarely seen without Samantha, his little black Schnauzer, faithful companion and the love of his life.
Jeff celebrated! He loved to seek the next adventure, to meet and get to know people and to help others when he could. He had great taste and cherished beautiful things. Most important of those were his many friends and family who will miss him greatly.
Jeff will be remembered for his mischievous smile and the twinkle in his eye as he told one of his many stories or said, “Let’s don’t go there!” or “Fry up the chicken!”
His family thanks the staff of Beth Sholom Parkside and members of the Heartlands Hospice team who cared for Jeff with love and compassion during his illness.
A memorial service will be held Wednesday, September 14 at 2:00 pm at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, 815 East Grace Street, Richmond, Va. 23219.
Jeff’s ashes will be scattered over the waters of the Chesapeake Bay near Gibson Island where he spent so many happy hours. Donations in his memory may be made to a charity of your choice.
I worked with Jeff for several years a good while ago and loved every minute of it. He always made me feel like I was the most special person in the world in every conversation we had. He made me laugh. I loved his outlook on life. There was no one on earth like Kellam and I am going to miss knowing he is no longer just a phone call away. God is in for a treat! Prayers to you all!
I just read Jeff’s obituary . My mom and I met him on a cruise about 20 years ago. What a bright light he was and with such a wonderful dry sense of humor . Whenever I called he always seemed thrilled to talk to me. I think he had a gift for making people feel appreciated.
I spoke to him in August- he sounded good and I was surprised he was under Hospice care. That is just like him to be so unselfish and not talk about his problems.
I am sure he quickly became the favorite patient at the care facility.
We have lost a wonderful person. I hope he is sharing a good laugh with my mom in heaven.