Robert F. Kello

Published 9:33 am Monday, April 13, 2015

COURTLAND—Robert Francis Kello of Courtland, Virginia, born on Aug. 1, 1928, passed away on April 10, 2015.

Robert F. Kello

Robert F. Kello

Mr. Kello graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1949, and was drafted into the U.S. Army as a lieutenant. He rose to the rank of captain and served in the Korean War in the 25th Infantry Division: Tropic Lightning, Korea, 1950-1953, at Camp Zama, Japan; Iron Triangle and Heartbreak Ridge, Korea serving 15 months on the front lines.

His career took him to North Carolina where he settled in Salisbury, North Carolina until he retired as vice president of operations for Service America in 1990.

Known as a true, southern gentleman, Mr. Kello was a vestry member and lay reader in the Episcopal Church, and was active in civic groups including Rotary Club, Toastmasters Club and Industrial Management Council. He was named Industrial Man of the Year in 1979-80 and Vendor of the Year by the North Carolina Vending Association in 1966.

After his retirement, he helped found the Southampton County Agriculture Museum in Courtland. Mr. Kello enjoyed woodworking, making lake-worthy cruisers, ski boats, skis any many bluebird houses that adorn posts and trees around Courtland’s fields.

Mr. Kello was predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Mary Townsend Rivers Kello; his parents, Edith Lee Johnson Kello and James Richard Kello Jr.; his brother, James Richard Kello III; and his grandparents, Mariah Thomas Vaughn Kello and James Richard Kello, CSA Army.

He is survived by his four children, Robert Francis Kello Jr. and wife, Kevyn Kirby Kello, of St. Johns, Florida; twin daughters, Edith Townsend Kello of Mooresville, North Carolina, and Constance Simms Kello Berardinis, and husband, Roger, of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina; and Malcolm Owens Kello and partner, William Randall, of Newland, North Carolina.

Mr. Kello has four grandchildren, Mary Stephanie Lee Decker, Elizabeth Townsend Duty, John Kinloch Rivers Duty and Stephen McClure Duty and five great-grandchildren.

We want to give special recognition for Rayford’s Quality Care for their devotion and exceptional care for Mr. Kello for over two years.

The funeral was conducted on Monday at 11 a.m. in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Courtland, with the Rev. James W. Browder III officiating. Burial followed in the Kello Family Cemetery at Rose Hill.

Memorials may be made to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 156, Courtland, VA 23837; or American Heart Association, 4217 Park Place Court, Glen Allen, VA 23060-9979.

Wright Funeral Home in Franklin is in charge of arrangements.