Lyman "Kelly" Kellstedt

Lyman "Kelly" Kellstedt

March 11th, 1945 - May 1st, 2024


Lyman “Kelly” Kellstedt (79)

How many of us can say that we have lived our lives fully?  Kelly did. 

He had a dream of being in the wild lands and being among wild things – land, water, animals, birds! 

After teaching in Kayenta/Navajo Reservation, and in Santa Fe, he transitioned to having his own business, Kellstedt Trading Company, selling used and discontinued outdoor gear of all kinds.  And, this new profession also gave him big chunks of time to go and explore “where no man/woman had gone before,” as much as was possible.  Or where very few had gone! 

He has likely been on almost every continent and many countries rafting, kayaking, canoeing, caving, mountaineering and climbing.  Antarctica, Palau Islands, likely all the big rivers, mountains, and/or caves in North America, South America, Alaska, Africa, India, to name a few.

He was prepared and fearless. Once he had a dream that he was fighting a bear in the wilderness. When questioned about it, his response was that if he was to be killed by a bear, it would be an honorable death. That tells you a lot about this human being.

Kelly also loved to dance, all kinds of dancing, especially Contra Dance.  He was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge/Santa Fe, where there are many kinds of dance groups renting the Lodge.  He danced like he performed in the wild!  A wild man in polite society is how one might look at it.  And, the women all loved to Waltz with him.

His magnificent memories have likely sustained him during this period of downturn, on his last trip to the wild unknown, including cancer, kidney failure, and Alzheimer’s Disease. He has been heroic in moving through this episode of his life.  A living memorial was quickly planned in early May.  Many friends attended, chatted, sang, played instruments, and laughed with Kelly.  He smiled the entire time and it made his few remaining days glorious.

There will be a ceremony at the Santa Fe National Veteran’s Cemetery on Tuesday, June 4, at 1:30 pm sharp.  If you want to attend, please be there by 1:15 pm to get your car in the line in time.  There will be a reception at the Santa Fe Odd Fellows Lodge at 2:30pm, at 1125 Cerrillos Rd. Music and dance. Refreshments provided. Or, please text 505-670-0366.


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Name Lyman "Kelly" Kellstedt
Date of Birth March 11th, 1945
Date of Death May 1st, 2024


Funeral Home Rivera Family Funeral Home - Santa Fe
Address 417 Rodeo Road
Santa Fe NM 87505
United States


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