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Dennis Lee Kellar

August 9, 1942 ~ December 30, 2019 (age 77)


Dennis Lee Kellar, age 77, died Monday, December 30, 2019 at Taylor House Hospice in Des Moines.

Visitation will be Saturday, January 4th, 2020 from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon with an Eastern Star and Memorial Service immediately following at O'Leary Funeral & Cremation Services.

To send condolences to the family, please select the "send/read tribute; tab at the top of this page. To send flowers, using Norwalk's only flower shop, O'Leary Flowers for Every Occasion, please select the "send flowers" tab to the left or at the bottom of this page.

Memorial contributions may be made to the House of Hope Haiti or the School of Lay Ministry, United Methodist Church in Dennis' name.

Dennis' Life Story

Dennis Lee was born on August 9, 1942 in Detroit, Michigan, the only child of Ramie and Loretta (Parker) Kellar. He grew up in Detroit, graduating from Redford High School in 1960.  He furthered his studies at Alma College in Alma, Michigan where he met his lifelong partner, Phyllis Burdick.  They graduated in the class of 1964.

On August 7, 1965 they were united in marriage at the First Presbyterian Church in Allegan, Michigan.  They made their home in East Lansing, Michigan where Dennis earned his MBA at Michigan State University.  His lifetime vocation was in food service at Michigan State, Northern Michigan University, and the State University of New York at Brockport.  He served in the Food Service at JL Hudson’s in Detroit as well as Shillitos in Cincinnati, Ohio and finally at Younkers in Iowa.

In 1966 he enlisted in the United States Navy, graduating from Officers Candidate School in 1967.  He then attended the Officer Supply Corp School in Athens, Georgia, and upon graduation was assigned to the USS Soley DD707, a reserve training destroyer, home port in Charleston, South Carolina.  Upon his completion of active duty, he became a member of the United States Navy, Reserves.  He retired from the Reserves in the rank of Commander.

He was a member of the United Methodist Church, both in Norwalk and Des Moines, where he was active in both churches as a board member.  He and Phyllis graduated from Lay Ministry School in 2010, serving in the Norwalk Church as Congregational Care Givers.  At First Church in Des Moines they served on the Re-Entry program for Women at the Well for five years.  They taught adult Sunday School at both churches as well.

In his final years, Dennis became a volunteer at the American Red Cross in Des Moines where he earned a volunteer of the year award as well as accepting an award on behalf of the ARC  in Des Moines, in Washington, D.C.

He was also a member of the Masonic Fraternity and a Past Most Worshipful Master as well as Secretary for many years. As a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, he served as Worthy Patron, Marshal, Warder, Chaplain and Secretary.  He was appointed in 2004 as a Grand Representative of Michigan in Iowa.

He is survived by his wife, Phyllis; three children, James Michael (Melissa) Kellar, Stephen Glenn (Kamy) Kellar, and Tena Amery (Steven) Baumgartner; and seven grandchildren, Ethan, Colin, Joel, Nathan, Benjamin, Alexander and Ella.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ramie and Loretta.

According to his wishes he has been cremated.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dennis Lee Kellar, please visit our floral store.


January 4, 2020

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
O'Leary Funeral & Cremation Services
1020 Main Street
Norwalk, IA 50205

Eastern Star and Memorial Service
January 4, 2020

12:00 PM
O'Leary Funeral & Cremation Services
1020 Main Street
Norwalk, IA 50205


House of Hope Haiti
917 R Lane, Oberlin KS 67749
Web: http://www.houseofhopehaiti.com/

Lay Ministry Commision
20858 T Avenue, Conesville IA 52739-8027

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