ROSS KELLAN, of Lombard

Written by Brust Funeral Home on June 5th, 2017

Kellan, Ross 2Ross Kellan, of Lombard, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, June 4th, surrounded by family after valiantly fighting cancer for seven years.

A Memorial Gathering will be held Friday, June 9th from 2 – 8 PM at Brust Funeral Home, 135 S. Main St, Lombard.

Ross began his career teaching in Decatur, IL. Most recently, he was Director of Music Education and Conductor of the Symphonic Band of Elmhurst College. Prior to going to Elmhurst in 2005, he was the chair of the music department and director of bands at Glenbard East High School, District 87, in Lombard, IL where he taught for 33 years.

While he was at Glenbard East, the band was selected to perform for the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic with Dr. Harry Begian, the National Band Convention and the Illinois Music Educators Association State Convention. The Glenbard East Symphonic Band was selected three times as the Honor Band at the University of Illinois SuperState Festival in Urbana-Champaign.

He was a guest conductor for the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Band, I.M.E.A. Districts I, II, VIII and IX Bands, the All-Carolina Band Festival and the Eastern Illinois University Concert Band Festival. He was also a guest conductor for the University of Illinois Summer Music Camp (ISYM), Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and The Eastern Illinois University Music Camp. In May of 2010, he received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at Elmhurst College. He was also the recipient of the Mary Hoffman Music Educator Award for teaching excellence from the Illinois Music Educators Association, and was voted to receive the John P. Paynter Music Educator Award from the Quinlan and Fabish Music Company. He also enjoyed the honor of being Lombard’s “Man of the Year.”

In 2011, he was inducted into Phi Beta Mu, the Band Directors Hall of Fame. He also was a member of the National Association for Music Educators. Illinois Music Education Association, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Omicron Delta Kappa, national leadership honor society. In 2012, the music wing at Glenbard East High School was also dedicated in his honor.

Ross was a devoted husband, father, brother, and member of Calvary Episcopal Church in Lombard. He never met a cup of coffee he didn’t like and enthusiastically encouraged everyone he met to join him for a cup. Although a White Sox fan, he enjoyed rooting for all Chicago sports teams. He also enjoyed attending musical events of all kinds, particularly the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Next to his family, his greatest passion was working with young people.

He is survived by his wife, Jeri; his daughter, Erin; brother, Kurt; and sister, Jayne. He is preceded in death by his father, Ross and his mother, Dorras.

In lieu of flowers, donations are being accepted for the Ross Kellan Memorial Scholarship Fund that will be coordinated/managed by the Glenbard East Music Association. Donations (made payable to Glenbard East Music Association and indicate Kellan Scholarship in memo) should be sent to Glenbard East High School, ATTN: GEMA/Music Dept, 1014 S Main Street, Lombard, IL 60148.


12 Comments so far ↓

  1. Tim Tierney says:

    My wife and I are sad to hear of the community losing Ross!
    His legacy will endure though, as will his desire to extend kindness and goodness to those blessed to know him. My wife is a former student and I a former colleague. We both extend our deepest sorrow to Jeri, Erin, and family for sharing such a wonderful person! Thanks Ross!

  2. Sandy Thatcher says:

    Th the Kellan Family, Geri, Erin Kurt and Jayne, So sorry for your loss. Ross was a warm,personable person. He will be greatly missed by many. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time.

  3. Judy mazzolini says:

    Heaven now has another to share music with.Rest in piece Ross Kellan our thoughts are with your family

  4. Curt & Deby Shipton says:

    We became a member of Mr. Kellan’s “family” when our son, Neal, continued his music education under this amazing band director. Because of Mr. K, Neal has become a h.s. band director, too! We always enjoyed talking when we saw him. He will be deeply missed. Our sincerest condolences to the family.

  5. Rick Thorp says:

    So sorry for the Kellan family and the music community’s loss. I was so priveleged to be one of Mr. Kellan’s students back in the 1980’s. I ultimately became a professional musician, largely due to his influence. And one of the proudest moments in my career was when I played a concert in Elmhurst one day in 2009, not knowing he was in the crowd. He came up afterward and gave me a big hug – I was blown away that I got to see him after all those years, and that I got to play for my amazing teacher and mentor. What a wonderful human being – Thank you so much Mr K, for the amazing impact you had on my life, and the lives of countless others! You will be missed.

  6. Kathy Rohrbach says:

    To the Kellan family you are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. He will be missed by so many.Our daughter is a music education major at Elmhurst College, we could never thank him enough for all he has done for her. Love the Rohrbach family.

  7. Malcolm Britton says:

    I was saddened by the news of the death of a former college classmate and “musical” brother, Ross “Corky” Kellan.
    To Jeri and the family, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

    Mal Britton John 14:27

  8. Frank and Ethel Samela says:

    While we can not be there to share in the celebration of Ross’ life, we will surely be there in spirit. You and Ross will always be a part of our Calvary family. Our prayers are with your family.

  9. Chelle OConnell says:

    Ross and his wife will always be remembered for their kindness and love of music. Thank you for all of your contributions to the Church and surrounding community.

  10. Jerry Schaefer says:

    My condolences to the Kellan family on their loss. Like so many others Ross touched my family through music. My daughter Melissa was his student and a proud member of the marching band. I also had the honor spending time with Ross as a chaperon on one of his Bowling Green / Washington DC trips. Thank you for your contributions to the Lombard community.

  11. Laura Font says:

    Many of my 4th graders from Madison School went on to be influenced by Ross at GE High School.
    My entire family- Mike, Maureen and Mark, send their sympathies to you.

  12. Patrice A. Mitsos says:

    I just learned of Mr. Kellan’s passing today, reading the Sunday Chicago Tribune, and am quite saddened by his loss. I played flute from fourth grade through freshman year in college, and Mr. Kaplan was my band director freshman through junior years of high school, at Glenbard East. He was a great band director and teacher, and one of the sweetest souls in the school. He always teased us during football and basketball game pep rallies that we had “better be drinking only ROOT beer” from our can coolers. Playing in his band was one of my favorite activities and memories of my high school career. Music is one of the greatest, most beautiful gifts of life, and I am grateful for having had such a warm and wonderful teacher during those formative years to help me grow as a musician, and later, singer.

    I send my deepest condolences to his wife, daughter and extended family and loved ones. I wish you peace and strength during this difficult time.

Leave a Comment