William Frederick (Bill) Kellegrew

William Frederick (Bill) Kellegrew died on July 18, 2009. He was the third child born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Frederick and Sarah Kellegrew on Sept. 9, 1916. He was the only boy in a household that included three sisters: Louise, Alyce and Marjorie. At 13, he started his first job as a paper boy for the Nassau Daily Review, “Long Island’s Greatest Newspaper.” In 1932, Mr. Kellegrew graduated from West Orange High School in New Jersey. After graduation, he decided the best way to see the world was to become part of the new aviation industry. At 21, he received his “Mechanic for Aircraft and Aircraft Engine” certificate of competency.

Mr. Kellegrew’s path to adventure accelerated when he joined Pan American World Airways in 1942. Initially stationed in Brazil, he maintained Clipper aircraft that landed on rivers, since there were no land airports yet. During this time, he flew rubber out of Brazil for the war effort. He was also stationed in Shanghai, where Pan Am operated China National Aviation Corporation. In 1947, he earned his Flight Engineer airman certificate and continued his work with Pan Am throughout the world.

Gladys Ross, a stewardess for Pan Am, and Mr. Kellegrew met in San Francisco and were married in Seattle on April 9, 1960. They chose to build a house on the South end of Mercer Island to be close to Gladys’ mother, Olive Ross. Mr. Kellegrew continued to fly on Pan Am’s 747 until 1976, when he retired. He did not slow down in retirement; he continued to work at MI Lumber and volunteer at Northwest Harvest, Habitat for Humanity and Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

Mr. Kellegrew had a positive outlook on life. He loved spending time with his family. He was not prone to long discussions, but taught his children the meaning of love, hard work and compassion through his daily life. He is survived by his wife, Gladys; younger sister, Marjorie; children, Marsh (Marcie), Sarah (Brenden) and Kevin; and grandchildren, Dale, Kelley and Matthew. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Aug. 3, at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Mercer Island.