Helen Maybelle Walker Kellis

Helen was born to the late Frances Steger Walker and Harmen B. Walker III on March 24, 1939, in Newport News and was raised in Hilton Village. She passed away peacefully on Monday, August 22, 2022 in the Old Dominion Rehabilitation and Nursing Facility in Newport News.

She was a 1957 graduate of Warwick High School, where she was a cheerleader for 4 years and served as secretary of the senior class. Following graduation, she attended Lynchburg College.

She was a charter member of Hilton Christian Church, where she served as a deacon. She was a member of the Junior League of Hampton Roads; the Denbigh Plantation Garden Club; and the Hilton Village Woman’s Club.

Helen married the love of her life, Doug Kellis, on August 15, 1959. Early in their marriage, she worked as the secretary for the Director of Admissions for Lynchburg College. In doing so, her husband was able to receive free tuition for his last semester of his senior year at Lynchburg College. Helen and Doug eventually made their home in the Denbigh Plantation neighborhood in Newport News, where they raised their two children, Mark and Stacey, and still reside 51 years later. Helen stayed home to raise their children until she returned to work at Christopher Newport College/University. She worked for more than 20 years in the Office of University Advancement as the Advancement Services Manager. As the gift and donor records manager, she was an integral part of the department.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Harman B. Walker IV; her in-laws Fred T. and Emma M. Kellis; brothers-in-law Eddie Kellis (Helen) and Fred Kellis (Iris); and her nephews, Ryan Walker and Shane Brookman. Helen is survived by her husband, Douglas A. Kellis; son, Mark D. Kellis (Joan); daughter, Stacey Kellis Godsey (Jamie); brother, Joseph R. Walker; sister-in-law, Deborah Kellis Ogren(Ken); grandchildren, Jakob S. Bagwell (Chelsea), William W. Kellis, Nathan K. Godsey, Hannah G. Godsey; great grandchild, Thomas L. Bagwell; family members Richard Walker (Ann) and Mary Sue Burry (David) and many other special cousins, nieces, nephews and dear friends.

Her beautiful smile will be forever remembered by all who knew her. A memorial service will be conducted by Pastor Nathalie Chamberlain at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, August 28, 2022 at Hilton Christian Church, 100 James River Dr., Newport News. Opportunity for visitation with the family and reception will immediately follow the service.

Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.


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