Fallen Hero: MSG(Ret) Joseph Elige “Joe” Kellum


Funeral Home

Holland Funeral Directors

5281 Cliff Gookin Blvd. Tupelo, MS


September 2, 2021

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Holland – Tupelo Chapel
5281 Cliff Gookin Blvd.
Tupelo, MS


September 3, 2021

11:00 AM
Holland – Tupelo Chapel
5281 Cliff Gookin Blvd.
Tupelo, MS


Honoring a Fallen Hero, Who Served Within the Mississippi National Guard

In recognition of our proud American tradition of honorable service which our military men and women have given to their country and our State, we honor a Fallen Hero. Our nation, our state, and the National Guard Association of MS (NGAMS) regard the memorializing of its retired military deceased as an honorable and sacred obligation. 

Another great Soldier and Fallen Hero has been released from duty, passed from our ranks on September 1, 2021, and moved on to his heavenly home. MSG(Ret) Joseph Elige “Joe” Kellum, age 81, a retired member of the MS Army National Guard who had served within the HHC, 155th Armored Brigade and worked full-time at the Tupelo AASF, has departed and gone to a better place with our good Lord.

It takes a special person to serve within the military for their country, giving up their family time, comfort, and safety for their country, ultimately for all Americans to enjoy their freedoms, safety, and way of life.  We now applaud you for your service to our country.  A special message from General Douglas McArthur remains applicable today for our servicemen that have passed:  “Old Soldiers never die; they just fade away”.

Rest in Peace Soldier.  We applaud your patriotism and brave efforts in serving our country and your family for their support of your service.  We thank you for your service.  Without your efforts and your families’ support, this country would not stand so boldly, shine so bright and live so free.

You now have earned a rest, so go fly with the Angels, go rest high on that mountain; your work on earth is done.  Go to heaven a-shoutin’ Love for the Father and the Son.


SALTILLO – On Wednesday morning, September 1, 2021, Joseph Elige “Joe” Kellum, 81, departed this life for his life eternal from his home near Saltillo surrounded by his loving family.  Joe was born in the Brewer Community on May 15, 1940 to the late Rubel Kellum and Opal Chaney Kellum. He graduated from Shannon High School in 1959 where he was an outstanding athlete in multiple sports. He married his sweetheart, Betty Jean Hester, in 1960, a marriage that lasted 62 years. Joe spent over 35 years working for the 155th Armored Brigade, Mississippi Army National Guard in Army Aviation Support, where he was an expert repairing helicopters. He retired as the Allied Shop Foreman. A member of Faith Baptist Church in Saltillo, Joe enjoyed the outdoors hunting and fishing and loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren, with whom he made many beautiful memories.

A service celebrating his life will be held at 11 AM Friday, Sept. 3, 2021 in the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with Dr. Marvin Murphy, Bro. James Marks, and Rev. Dr. Phil Elllis officiating.  Burial will follow in Lee Memorial Park.  Visitation will be from 4 PM-7PM on Thursday, Sept. 2, and from 10 AM – service time on Friday. For those unable to attend, the service may be viewed at www.hollandfuneraldirectors.com/live-streaming at 11 AM Friday and will be permanently archived thereafter.

Joe is survived by his wife, Betty Kellum; his daughter, Teresa Dye and her husband, Ronnie; his son, Lee Kellum and his wife, Deanna all of Saltillo; the grandchildren, Baylor and Kayle Dampeer, Shannon and Anna Wildmon, Richard and Ashton Kent, Bo and Meghan Ricks, and Austin Kellum, Mary Grace Dye, Megan and Brandon Yarbrough; the great-grandchildren, Nora Kellum, Sims and Maren Dampeer, Halle and Jack Ellis Wildmon, William and Caroline Kent, Emmy Spencer, Anna Elise and Tucker Dill, Maddox and Milo Yarbrough; a brother, Earl Kellum and wife , Betty Ann of Pontocola; a host of nieces and nephews; and their special friends, Bill and Sue Frederick of Palmetto and Clyde and Linda Godfrey of Verona.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Rubel and Opal; and two sisters, Barbara Bryan and Judy Marks.

Pallbearers will be Austin Kellum, Baylor Dampeer, Shannon Wildmon, Richard Kent, Mike Patterson and Dale Brock.

Condolences may be emailed to hollandfuneraldirectors@comcast.net.