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In Memory of . . . Byron E. Kelham (1927-2013)

Posted By Administration, Monday, June 17, 2013

The Ministries and Faith Development staff offers our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Byron E. Kelham who died on April 14, 2013 at the age of 86.

Rev. Kelham was born in Troy, ID on February 28, 1927 to Alva (Cartwright) and Edward Kelham. He attained his Bachelor of Science degree from Lewis & Clark College in 1952. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Divinity from Star King School for the Ministry in 1955.

Rev. Kelham was ordained at the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, TX on October 17, 1955. He was first called to serve the First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh from 1964-1968. He also served the First Unitarian Society of Pueblo, CO from 1981-1988. He retired from ministry in 1992.

Because serving his communities and social justice were such important causes to Rev. Kelham, he found meaning in his time served on the boards of the Danbury, CT branch of the NAACP and the Human Relations Council. He also served as the Chairman of the Chaplains’ Association of the Carnegie Institute of Technology.

About the roles of minister and congregation, Rev. Kelham once wrote:

As I see it, it is the prime functions of the church to help its members find a core of meaning around which the various fragments of their lives may be unified. Ideally, the minister should exemplify such a unified, "whole” life. Out of the strength and experience this gives him, he should, by means of ritual, preaching, and counseling, help others to achieve the same.

In so doing, the church and minister must at times vigorously protest and seek to correct those elements in our society, those demands, which are truly incompatible with such wholeness; prejudice, injustice, etc.

Rev. Kelham is survived by his wife, Ethyl Kelham; daughters, Rebecca Claussen, Cara Henderson, and Leslie Kelham; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

A memorial service was held on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at the First Unitarian Society of Pueblo, 110 S. LaCrosse Ave., Pueblo, CO 81001.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Society for Ministerial Relief C/O Glen Snowden, Secretary, 34 Meeting House Lane, #201, Stow, MA 01775.

Notes of condolence may be sent to Leslie Kelham at 135 Vernon Pl., Pueblo, CO 81004.

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