Cutis Kellar, 90

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 26, 2006

Curtis Bradbury Kellar, age 90, born July 16, 1916, died peacefully at his home in New York City Nov. 18, 2006, of congestive heart failure.

Curtis was the son of the late Horatio Ellsworth and Laura Koontz Kellar.

He was preceded in death by his brother Henry Ellsworth Kellar. Beloved father of Lucia, Bill (Peggy), Betsy (Bruce) Noll, Martha (Mark) Ash, preceded by Curtis Jr.; and step-father of Lincoln (Louise) Clark, Paul (Jane) Knopf, preceded by Stephen Knopf. Loving grandfather of Devon and Beloved uncle of Cathy Ann (Mac) Martin, Scott (Tracey Kellar, Brad Kellar and Laura (Tim) Shallbetter, and brother-in-law of Ann Scott Kellar. Fond step-grandfather and great-uncle of 13. Preceded by his wife Amy Vanderbilt and companion Bonnie Cashin; survived by his former wife Mary Ames Poor.

He was born and raised in Albert Lea, received his bachelor of arts from the University of Minnesota, and his juris doctorate from the University of Minnesota Law School. He was a member of the National Board of Visitors of the Law School. In memory of his father he created The Horatio Ellsworth Kellar Distinguished Visitors Program, and interdisciplinary lecture series connecting emerging issues in the law with disciples such as art, drama and literature. He endowed the Curtis Bradbury Kellar Chair in Law, and the Curtis B. Kellar Faculty Library was named by the Law School in recognition of his generous support. He served for five years in the Navy (Lieutenant Commander) during World War II in every theater of war, including the battle for Guadalcanal. He received a Citation for Heroic Achievement and was awarded the Bronze Star.

After the war, he moved to Montclair, N.J., where he raised his family. He began his legal career at Winthrop, Stimpson, Putnam and Roberts, and after a brief period at W. R. Grace and Co. he joined the Office of General Counsel at Mobil Oil Corporation as the corporate and finance lawyer. Later he moved to the International Division; he retired from Mobil in 1981 as Associate General Counsel of the corporation.

Following his retirement, he devoted his time to pro bono work for the Innovative Design Fund, a charitable foundation established by Bonnie Cashin to provide financial assistance to talented young designers. He was an avid family genealogist, often regaling his children with tales of their forbearers, and well as stories of his World War II adventures. He was a member of the Sons of the Colonial Wars, the Union Club, a Knight of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and a longtime parishioner of St. Thomas Episcopal Church.

During his last years, he was lovingly cared for by his wonderful aides Lenora, Alicia, Jackie, Daphne, Morgan and Hyacinth. He will be sorely missed by his family and good friends.

A funeral service will be held at St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street, New York, N.Y., on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to Dr. Michael Freedman, NYU Division of Geriatrics, 550 First Ave., New York, N.Y., 10016, or St. Thomas Church Choir School (Scholarship Fund), 1 W. 53rd St., New York, N.Y., 10019.