Robert George Kellam
August 4, 1947 – August 5, 2016
Robert (Bob) George Kellam of Raleigh died on August 5, 2016 at Transitions LifeCare after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born in Durham and was the only child of Leewan and Emily Richardson Kellam. Leewan died when Bob was only three, and Bob's grandfather, George D. Richardson, became an important father figure. When Bob was in college, Emily married James Babcock, stepfather to Bob.
Surviving Bob are his wife, Susan R. Wyatt; Leewyn Kellam, his daughter from a previous marriage to Evelyn Hill; his son-in-law Brian Hatch; and several close cousins.
Bob graduated from Culver Military Academy in Indiana, where his Grandfather Kellam had been the Dean of Admissions. From there he went to Yale University where he graduated in 1970 with a B.S., and to Duke University (evening program) where he graduated in 1978 with an MBA.
For over 30 years Bob was employed at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Air Quality and Standards (OAQPS) in RTP. He held a variety of management positions, retiring at the end of 2003 as the Associate Director of the Information Transfer and Program Integration Division. He also represented EPA as a co-chair for an Expert Group in air emissions during the development of guidance for an international treaty for Persistent Organic Pollutants. Together with his friend and colleague John Bachmann, he lifted employee morale through productions created in conjunction with OAQPS Holiday parties.
Actually Bob did not retire in 2003; he just switched jobs. He continued to focus on environmental protection, but redirected his attention to sustainable agriculture. Grandparents Richardson, with whom he spent many hours gardening, left him a 60-acre farm (Kellam-Wyatt Farm) in east Raleigh. He had always gardened, but now he used the farm to raise a variety of 40 organically grown fruits and vegetables for sell to a CSA, Midtown
Farmers' Market, and Irregardless Café.
Farming is a 24/7 job, but this was not enough for Bob. He wanted to promote public education through the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service and the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer (EMGV) program. Thus, he volunteered as a leader in the Wake County and State EMGV programs, the NC EMGV endowment, the Wake County Extension Advisory Council, and the NC Cooperative Extension Agricultural Programs Foundation.
Kellam-Wyatt Farm includes not only fields for raising fruits and vegetables, but woods and lakes for conserving nature and wildlife. In December 2013, Bob and Susan partnered with the City of Oaks Foundation to place a Conservation Easement on the Farm, with the idea of protecting wildlife habitat and providing for public education on farming and nature. Bob also served as a Board member for the City of Oaks Foundation.
Bob had many skills and passions. In addition to advocating for the environment and farming, he produced books, videos, musicals and newsletters; designed and constructed houses, offices and chicken egg-mobiles; ran marathons; hiked, camped and sailed; and partnered with his cousins to operate a kennel. He was well known for his catalytic initiative and leadership, creativity, sense of humor, kindness, mentoring, generosity, and for laboring endless hours to ensure excellence. In addition, no one could ask for a more caring father, husband or friend.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to the City of Oaks Foundation, for the Kellam-Wyatt Nature and Farm Education Public Park Project, Address: City of Oaks Foundation; 222 W. Hargett Street, Suite 608, Raleigh, N.C. 27601.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary's St. Raleigh. Condolences may be made through brownwynne.com