Nature 10

Bruce Rotui Kellum

April 8, 1960 ~ January 1, 2021 (age 60)

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Bruce R. Kellum, 60, of Robbinsville, NC, passed away on January 1, 2021 at his residence.

Bruce was truly a Godly man; he walked it and spoke it. Bruce attended Norwich University as a History major. He wanted to be a pilot in the Air force like his dad and succeeded in getting a pilot slot. All his life’s dreams were shattered when he fell 60 ft repelling and became paralyzed from the waist down. Bruce overcame his tragedy 6 months later when he walked again. Bruce became an alcoholic trying to relieve his pain and ended up in a coma for 12 days and quit drinking. A year later he became a Christian.  He overcame countless situations that most would not survive.  Bruce met his wife in 2011, the morning after doctors said he wouldn't live through the night. She told him if he made it out of the hospital, she would take care of him as long as he would do Bible study with her. They married in 2013.  In 2016 his kidneys failed on their anniversary and their lives were never the same. 

Bruce was a car salesman, meat salesman, co-owner of a bagel and coffee shop, chair Deacon, and a caregiver to individuals with developmental disabilities. He was adventurous: a whitewater rafting guide, loved repelling, kayaking, hiking, shooting and trailing. Bruce enjoyed jail ministry, reading the KJV Bible and listening to evangelical sermons. Bruce also enjoyed war movies, guns, and was a WWII buff.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth Kellum; his step sons, Travis VanRensselaer of Sylva, NC, and Jason VanRensselaer of Cheyenne, WY; his father, Rotui Kellum and his brother, Ben Kellum both of West Nyak, NY; and his grandchildren, Nathan, Carolyna, and Olivia VanRensselaer.  Bruce was preceded in death by his mother, Barbara Casavant Kellum, and his brother, Bill Kellum.

Plans for a memorial service are incomplete at this time.

Townson-Smith Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Kellum family.  An online register is available at

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