Obituary: Cynthia Kellem

Cynthia Kellem, at 84

Cynthia [Swartz] Kellem died July 9, after a period of declining health. She was 84.

Teacher, mentor, and regional musical theater “legend”, Mrs. Kellem died peacefully on Saturday, surrounded by her family. Throughout her 25-year career at Hull High School, she was a passionate advocate for education and a life-changing inspiration to many of her students.

After retirement, she turned her passion to civic organizations such as Wellspring and, most especially, the Hull Public Library. She was an avid lover of books and the cherished leader of her book club, the Mermaids. Her personality filled a room and her exclamations of happiness in the form of “WooHoo!” punctuated many great moments.

Above it all, she was a “hot ticket.” All of her children’s friends were members of the family and all were always made to feel special as she engaged with them throughout their lives. She took immense pride in her six grandchildren, who were enriched by her special talents and spirit.

Simply said, her family and friends loved her. That was evident at her funeral service Tuesday at Temple Beth Sholom’s Boyer Auditorium, where every seat was filled. More than 100 people stood to laugh, cry, and pray alongside those who were seated at the service that Rabbi Benjamin Lefkowitz led. 

The wife of Lawrence A. Kellem; mother of David Kellem and his wife, Deborah Asbrand, Steven Kellem, and Amy Slotnick and her husband, Daniel; grandmother of Sarah, Jordan, Matthew, Noah, Will, and Nell; Mrs. Kellem was also an aunt to Evie Adler and Scott Groper, Ed and Judy Adler, and Jeffrey Kellem.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to Friends of the Hull Public Library or to Temple Beth Sholom of Hull.