You are now on Legacy.com. Your site use is governed by their Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy. Any purchases are with Legacy.com. Learn More
John KELLUM
1943 - 2020
{ "" }
Share
Share John's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
JOHN "Jack" KELLUM Born in 1943, Jack grew up in Delhi, Ontario. A singer and a songwriter who spent his late teens and early twenties playing music in both the bars and coffee houses of Toronto's Yorkville neighborhood and the rough and tumble bar circuit of Northern Ontario. A temporary job scoring music for CBC Television in Toronto led to a position at a legendary CBC show entitled This Land. It was a show that celebrated and explored everything wonderful about Canada, especially life in its rural areas. It was a good fit. Because Jack loved the subject matter. He loved telling those stories. Eventually an opportunity came along that Jack was made for. In 1973, he somehow convinced his wife Maj to take a leap of faith and head all the way across the country to take a job at CBC television in St John's, NL. It was there that this son of the Ontario tobacco belt became the greatest supporter and defender of Newfoundland culture the province could have ever asked for. Jack turned the Newfoundland station into a regional production powerhouse, producing hours of original programming for and about the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Soon after landing he quickly succeeded in achieving his number one goal, to produce a musical variety show from Newfoundland that would air on the national network. The show he produced was called Ryan's Fancy and for the first time Canadians saw the spectacular Newfoundland landscape in popular entertainment. It was a game changer for Newfoundland and a showcase of its rich artistic culture. It was Jack who next championed The Wonderful Grand Band, a hybrid of comedy and music, both popular and traditional and the most successful regional television show ever produced in Canada. The Wonderful Grand Band begat CODCO, a national comedy series which was both brilliant and relentlessly controversial, embodying a level of diversity new to national prime time tv. CODCO was followed by This Hour Has 22 Minutes, and Jack's fingerprints remain on the show to this day. In between, there were countless specials and productions all showcasing, celebrating, and promoting the country's rich culture, talent, history, and people. Jack was a great Canadian and a great TV producer. He believed in the CBC where he worked for 33 years. He saw it as integral to Canadian culture and the fabric of the nation, connecting Canadians from all three coasts and every point in between. His work has bolstered the careers of countless talented artists, casts and crews, and has been loved by audiences all across the country. He was a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather. He was loved and will be deeply missed, by his family and many many dear friends. He leaves behind his wife Maj, children Penny (John Dibben) and Zach (Johanna Reynolds), and the productions of which he was most proud, his grandchildren Henry, Gray, Lily and Jules. Thank you to Rick Mercer for generously writing this obituary. In lieu of flowers please donate to the Trillium Gift of Life Network or Groves Memorial Hospital in Fergus Ontario.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Globe and Mail from Dec. 8 to Dec. 12, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
10 entries
December 11, 2020
I spent a lot of time at the Kellum household in the 80’s with Penny and Family. Every memory I have of Mr. Kellum is of him being direct, honest, kind, and clear with me. Many years later, when I came to him, hat in hand, his graciousness and kindness made a significant difference at a vulnerable time for me. What an incredible testimony to his character.
Also, Mr. Kellum’s contribution to CODCO is highly relevant for me as well. As a (then) young Newfoundlander, CODCO was more than a great laugh, though it is was that indeed. The social commentary embedded within CODCO, blew open doors of understanding in my then young mind and heart, and exposed me to life-saving critiques of the patriarchy and of heteronormativity. Mr. Kellum’s work made a difference for me, when a difference needed to be made.
I send warmth and care to Mrs. Kellum, Penny, Zach, and Family, as they grieve...
Chris Pike
Friend
December 11, 2020
Apart from everything that Rick noted in the obituary, Jack was one of the finest human beings I have ever met and I was honoured to have known him. RIP Jack.
JIM BYRD
Friend
December 10, 2020
A great chap, fraternity brother at Ryerson and then he did so much for cbc tv.
John
Friend
December 9, 2020
I am very saddened to hear about Jack. I first met him in my class at Ryerson University in 1963. I then had the great pleasure of working with him at CBC Halifax for many years. Sincere condolences to Maj, Penny and Zach.
Bob Conrad
Friend
December 8, 2020
John Hall
Family
December 8, 2020
Dear Maj, Penny & Zach,
Jack, or as I always knew him, Jackie was a great cousin. His legacy speaks for its self however his talent, humour and kindness will always remain with me. My Mom and Dad, Bettie and Rad Hall, loved Jack so much and relished any time they could see you guys. My Dad use to go and watch him perform in Turkey Point and at Riley's Motor Hotel in Tillsonburg when he was working his way through Ryerson in the mid 60's. Because of his talent he was a real celebrity to us his younger cousins. I went through my mom's Photo albums and scanned 20+ photos but I can only upload one. So sorry we have not seen enough of each other over the years but please know that Jack will always be in our hearts. Love cousin Harry
Harry Hall
Family
December 8, 2020
Jack was so kind to me. Always interested in what I might have to say. Always putting up with my shenanigans with a smile. Supporting me with respect in my musical efforts. A confidence builder.. A beautiful human being. I am so sorry to hear of his passing. My condolences to Maj and family.
Glenn Simmons
Coworker
December 8, 2020
Jack was a truly gentle man, in every sense of the word.
Anne Logan McNamara
Friend
December 8, 2020
Dear Maj, Penny & Zach,
My sincere condolences on your loss of Jack. I have such fond memories of working with Jack from the mid-nineties up to his retirement. Often I worked for the co-producer on shows and there were times when Jack hired me directly to be part of his CBC team. They were such good times and great crews, producing music television out of Halifax. I learned a lot from Jack and he was always very supportive of me. I hope you are taking some solace in the comments from folks you are hearing from at this time. Jack made such an impact and left a great legacy of work and friendships with colleagues.
Shauna Walters
Coworker
December 8, 2020
Jack was a very fine man. There would be no harm in describing him with every virtuous adjective in the language - he always appeared and did help others. To his family I extend my deepest sympathy, and mourn his loss along with you. May he Rest In Peace.
Peter Miller
Coworker
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences