Joyce Joan Kellam

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Born in Boone County, Indiana on September 12, 1922

Departed on January 6, 2018 and resided in Carmel, Indiana

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Joyce Joan Unger Kellam (95) of Carmel, Indiana passed away 1.6.2018. Born to Hannah Fern (Brookie) Unger and Lloyd Unger 9.12.1922 on a farm in Boone County, Indiana. She was preceded in death (7.16.90) by her loving husband of 48 years Dr. Raymond O. Kellam (Captain USN & Judge). She attended schools in Indiana, Dover, until third grade and then Cutler schools through High School. She graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Music Education and a minor in Business.

Joyce was a music teacher in Winamac IN., worked in an RCA plant in Bloomington IN, a typing teacher, a substitute teacher, and a choir director at a Presbyterian church in Virginia. She was most proud of being a full time wife and mother.

Joyce is survived by Steve Kellam (son) Nancy (Willson) Kellam(daughter-in-law), Matt (Amanda Littke) Kellam & Mark Kellam (grandsons), Susan (Kellam) Adney (daughter) John Adney (son-in-law), Tom and Scott (Cristy Merrill) Adney (grandsons), Sheri (Kellam) Sullivan (daughter), John Sullivan (son-in-law) Hillary (Mark) Doerries and Kate (Kurtis) Wallace (granddaughters) and Ella Rae Wallace (great granddaughter). Also preceded in death by Lloyd Unger (father) Hannah Brookie Unger (mother), Wanda Johnson, Gwen Flora, Gay Poppe and Hilma Stickler (sisters).

Joyce was married for 48 years to her beloved Raymond O. Kellam. She was an accomplished vocalist who sang on the radio in Chicago IL on the weekends. She also was an accompanist for musical theatre. In her younger years she played violin and continued to play piano even at 95! Never a shrinking violet, she had a dramatic soprano voice noteworthy as a soloist and in choirs. Joyce grew up on a farm with four sisters. As a child she enjoyed the outdoors and in later life became a wonderful gardener with the most amazing azalea’s when she lived at her home in Fairfax, VA. Her home in Virginia was on a garden registry. When she moved back to Carmel, Indiana in 2005 she also cared for the many plants at her home.

Music was always at the forefront of her activities and she continued her music studies at Ball State University, where she met her husband, Raymond O. Kellam. She was a military wife for 30 years, forging friendships wherever they were stationed. The family first started out in New Castle, Indiana for over three years, where Steve and Susan were born.  The family lived in Guam, San Francisco, San Diego, Long Beach &, Monterey, California; Fairfax, Virginia and Dallas, Texas. As a mother, she instilled the love of music in all her children, giving them music lessons and taking them to musical productions. Living in Virginia, she helped history come alive by taking the children to all to various historical sites throughout Virginia and the Washington DC area. She was a fierce advocate for all her children. She instilled a work ethic in them and showed an unconditional love throughout their lives. She would tell you she did not like to cook or sew. But, she was an amazing cook and seamstress. She also dabbled in making ceramics and enjoyed the entire process from beginning to end. In her later years she was very involved with her church Bible studies and a great reader of books.

Over her life time Joyce was involved with many organizations. Some of those include Garden Club of Fairfax, Virginia; Ball State University Alumni; Carmel Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Covenant Presbyterian Church in Long Beach, CA.; United Methodist Church in Coronado, CA.; Presbyterian Church in Fairfax, VA.; Disciples of Christ Church in Fairfax, VA., several Bible studies in Fairfax, VA.; PTA’s in Virginia and California.

She was very proud of her husband who served in World War II and achieved the rank of Captain, United States Navy. He was a gunnery officer during the war on an LST and after the war attended Law School at IU, Bloomington and became a Navy Lawyer (JAG CORPS). When he retired from the Navy in Virginia he had a private law practice until he became a Judge. He had a doctorate in Oil and Gas Law from Southern Methodist University. He was a Judge for the last 16 years of his life primarily serving in Manassas, Virginia.

Services are Tuesday, January 16th, 2018. Viewing in the Parlor from 1:30 to 3:15 PM followed by the Memorial Service at 3:30 PM in the Chapel at North United Methodist Church, 3808 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208. Burial will be at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, we encourage donations to be given to North United Methodist Church.

Tribute Video

Guestbook Entries

  1. Bruce W. Buchanan January 10, 2018 at 11:51 am - Reply

    There are few things more difficult than dealing with the loss of a loved one. I am honored that you have chosen our family to care for your family during this time. Please let me know if there is more we can do to help celebrate your loved-one’s life.

    My Warmest Regards,

    Bruce W. Buchanan
    4th Generation Owner
    Since 1881

  2. Ted Mau January 10, 2018 at 3:02 pm - Reply


    So sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. It sounds like she had an amazing life. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help and we’ll keep you and your family in our prayers.

    Ted Mau

    • Steve Kellam January 10, 2018 at 4:01 pm - Reply

      Thanks Ted!

  3. Lauren Qualls January 10, 2018 at 4:03 pm - Reply


    I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom. She was a wonderful lady and had a great life. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and Nancy and all of your family. I know how hard it is to lose your Mom.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you all~

  4. Larry & Susan January 10, 2018 at 6:31 pm - Reply

    Candle 5No matter how long we are together, it is never long enough. She has left a wonderful legacy and family to join those who have gone before. Our deepest sympathy to you all.

  5. Jay Brill January 10, 2018 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in the celebration of your Mother’s like.

    Jan and Jay Brill

  6. Jay Brill January 10, 2018 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in the celebration of your Mother’s life.

    Jan and Jay Brill

  7. Jeff Horwitz January 10, 2018 at 7:01 pm - Reply


    We are so sorry to hear of the loss of your mom. She was a remarkable lady who raised an awesome son! We look forward to celebrating her life with you and Nancy this Tuesday.

    Thinking of you,

    Jeff and Connie

  8. John Frank January 10, 2018 at 8:45 pm - Reply

    Steve, your Mother’s obituary is a strong testament to life well-lived, and you are an outstanding example of her many accomplishments. I will be praying for you during this time of grief, remembrance, and celebration of her life.

    John Frank

  9. Kristin Introvigne January 11, 2018 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Sheri and Family, I am so sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. Michele & Glenn Jensen January 13, 2018 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Candle 2Hillary Doerries we are sorry for your loss.

  11. Jessica Stephenson January 15, 2018 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    Candle 1What a fantastic collection of photos in the tribute video. Steve, your mom was obviously a dynamic lady and you and your family are in my prayers.

  12. Mary Anne & Gerry January 15, 2018 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Steve and Famly,
    You are in our thoughts and prayers. Your mother was a fantastic person that gave so much thru her musical talents. Know that she is at peace now.

  13. Adam and Jeannine Compton January 16, 2018 at 8:07 am - Reply

    Prayer’s and love sent from the Compton’s to the Kellam’s.

  14. Mike & Carol Wehlage January 16, 2018 at 11:38 am - Reply

    I am sorry that we are unable to attend the services for Joyce. But, we want you to know we enjoyed having Joyce as our neighbor. She loved talking about her family her Virginia home and yard. She will be missed. I’m sure you all know she was proud of you all. Sorry for your loss.

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