LTG JOHN A. KJELLSTROM To TAPS
LTG JOHN A. KJELLSTROM passed away 10/19/2015.
Obituary of LTG John Kjellstrom
Lt. General John A. Kjellstrom of Palm City, FL died October 19, 2015 at 92. He was born February 28, 1923 in Rockford, IL and was raised in Hebron, IL. John was an All-State basketball player helping Hebron reach the state tournament for the first time, setting the stage for the famous ’52 state championship. He played basketball at the University of Illinois before enlisting in the U. S. Army. John was a gentleman and a soldier who lived an outstanding life, leaving behind a legacy of family and special memories. While serving in Germany during World War II, he fell for a beautiful American Red Cross worker, Dorothy Ellis. They were married in Cleveland, OH the next year . Dorothy and John would raise two children while moving between posts, both home and abroad. Taking advantage of assignments in Japan and Germany, the Kjellstroms would travel Europe, Asia, and Africa. In retirement, John and Dorothy continued to travel, circling the globe on the QEII and the Orient Express.
Highlights of his military career included duty as an Infantry Platoon Leader with the 76th Infantry Division in World War II, Staff Officer with the Logistical Command (Japan) during the Korean Conflict, and Command of the 14th Inventory Control Central in the Vietnam War. He served as the Director of the Army Budget, leading to his last assignment as Comptroller of the Army retiring in 1977.
He completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland and earned a Master’s Degree from George Washington University. His military education included the Army War College, the Naval War College Command and Staff Course, and the Air Force University Comptroller Course. Among his many decorations and awards are the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Defense Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Army General Staff Badge. Gen. Kjellstrom was inducted into the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame and into the Quartermaster Hall of Fame.
After retirement from the military, he continued his civilian career as President of Armed Forces Relief and Benefit Association. He was Board President of Army Navy Town Club in Washington, DC from 1980-1983. Dorothy and John began moves South—first to Jekyll Island, GA, then to Melbourne, FL and finally to Sandhill Cove in Palm City, FL. Following the footsteps of his father, John was a Rotary Foundation Paul Harris Fellow and both his children are now.
“Kell”, as he was known and loved by many, is survived by his son, Richard, and wife Mary Christine of Port Orange, FL, his daughter, Kay Keenan and husband Bryan of Wilmington, DE. Four granddaughters include Stephanie and husband Peter Matev of Memphis, TN, Natalie and husband LTC Gregory Cannata of Ft. Stewart, GA, Katy Keenan and husband Patrick Sullivan of Boulder, CO, and Karyn Keenan of Chicago, IL. John especially loved being with his five great grandchildren: Gregory, Joseph and Justin Cannata, Alexander Matev, and Renée Sullivan. He was deeply respected and will be remembered with love.
Funeral services will be at Arlington National Cemetery in 2016. He has left a beautiful footprint in this world.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to his childhood church,
Hebron United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 323, Hebron, IL 60034
Condolences can be posted at http://www.foresthillspalmcityflorida.com/tribute/details/11931/LTG_John_Kjellstrom/condolences.html#content-start
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