David Alexander Kellam
David Alexander Kellam
  • September 14, 1932 - January 9, 2018
  • Sanford, Florida

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David Alexander Kellam, D.O., of Sanford, Florida, and Orchard Lake, Michigan, died at the age of 85 on January 9th, 2018 following a long battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He was born on September 14th, 1932, the youngest of four, in Binghamton, NY. He attended Colgate University, Syracuse University, and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating in 1956 when he was only 23. His father, Lawrence Jeptha Kellam, and brother, Robert Timothy Kellam, were also osteopathic physicians. Dave did both an internship and a radiology residency at Detroit Osteopathic Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. While a resident, he used to coach youth basketball and discovered a love for the Detroit Tigers, who almost (but not quite) took the place of his beloved Yankees. He loved the Detroit Lions as well, but always bet against them.

Dave was an avid body builder, and began lifting weights daily in the 1950s and never stopped. His earliest haunts were the weight room at the Pontiac YMCA and Lifters, also in Pontiac. He had "gym buddies" near and far and was known as "Doc." He never followed the low fat diet philosophy of the 80s and 90s and attributed a liberal intake of butter, salt, nuts, cheese, fruits, and vegetables to his long life. Dave enjoyed the game of golf, although his handicap never reflected that. He loved taking friends and residents to golf with him at Oakland Hills Country Club. Dave made friends wherever he went, and not only had a photographic memory for medical facts, but also for faces. It was not uncommon for him to find a long lost friend or gym buddy in an airport in the middle of nowhere. His voice was distinctive and could be heard within a crowd. If you happened to sit near him in church, you would hear him singing the hymns quite proudly.

Dave's family traced itself back to the Mayflower, as well as having Lenape Indian ancestry. One of his favorite past-times was adding more trees to the world--whether or not they would fit in his yard or not. He loved classical music, and would often conduct to the radio while driving in his beloved Datsun 280zx in which a Hershey Bar with Almonds was often hidden in the console. Dave was a railroad buff who not only built model trains in his younger days, but also knew the history of the various railroad companies that traversed the United States. As a Grandpa, he had great fun building trains again with his grandchildren.

He began his career as the Director of Radiology at Orlando General Hospital (which is now Florida Hospital East) in 1960 in the pre-Disney era.. At the time, the radiology department was the hospital's former garage. He only stayed two years, electing to move up north to Michigan and more wide-spread air-conditioning to make his new bride happy. Dave was a man who never stopped learning--he always had a journal in his hands and did fellowships in the 1970s in interventional radiology and nuclear medicine at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI.

He loved to teach and share his knowledge and for almost 50 years was Chairman of Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital's radiology department Starting in 1980 at POH, "Chief" made sure that his radiology residents had the best training in the country. He gave a lecture every morning at 7 a.m., and woe to the resident who missed it. The roughly 100 or so radiologists that he trained all over the country are part of his legacy, and no doubt still hear his voice in their head from time to time.

In 1976-1977, Dave was the youngest President in the history of the American Osteopathic College of Radiology. In 1978, He was awarded the Dr. Floyd J. Trenery Memorial Medal. He was elected to the American Osteopathic Association's "Mentor Hall of Fame" and was voted "Trainer of the Year" at POH Medical Center four times. In 2006, he was given the American Osteopathic College of Radiology's Distinguished Service Award. In 2012, he was given the prestigious Walter Patenge medal at Michigan State University.

Dave was a life member of the American Osteopathic Association, Michigan State Medical Association, Michigan Osteopathic Association, Florida Osteopathic Medical Association, Oakland County (MI) Osteopathic Association (former President), and the Oakland County (MI) Medical Association. He made future radiologist quake as an examiner for the American Osteopathic Board of Radiology.

He was married for 56 years to Dolores Marilyn Kellam. In 1961, when he told his parents he wanted to marry her and that she was a ballet dancer, they thought he said "belly dancer" and were horrified. It was the best decision he ever made, as that "belly dancer" went on to become an environmental and behavioral psychologist, photographer, and investor. At 85 years of age, she is still teaching castanets and dancing. Dave and Dolores were active in their church, Markham Woods Presbyterian Church, where Dave served as a Deacon and loved attending the Monday Morning Men's Bible Study.

Although he worked long hours, he was an amazing Dad and "Gramps." He is survived by his son, Scott David Kellam, daughter Karla (Hosam), grandchildren, Scottie (Kim), Lindsy (Jimmy), Nichole, Ryan, Sarah, Sami, Ali, Sara, Omar, as well as many great grandchildren. He also is survived by Jackie, his former daughter-in-law who is a daughter of the heart, as well as Drs. Steve Min and Bruce Wolf, two former residents who became sons of the heart. His brothers, Lawrence and Tim, predeceased him, but his favorite sister Marilyn survive him.

A celebration honoring Dr. Kellam's life will be held in February in Heathrow, Florida. The David A. Kellam, D.O. Endowed Scholarship has been set up in his name at MSUCOM. Please be sure to note the allocation code AS000112 in the memo. Checks can be made to MSUCOM and sent to: MSUCOM Development Office, East Fee Hall, 965 Fee Rd, Room A-310, East Lansing, MI 48824. You can also call 1-800-232-4678 to donate over the phone or use the following link. https://www.givingto.msu.edu/gift/?appeal=18MASWB1MAIN