Robert "Cobb" Kellis, age 89 of Southampton, passed away on August 4, 2020. A visitation will be held on Friday, August 7, 2020 from 2-4 PM & 7-9 PM at the O'Connell-Rothwell Funeral Home, located at 30 Little Plains Road, Southampton, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 10 AM at Our Lady of Poland in Southampton. A burial will follow at Sacred Hearts Cemetery in Southampton with full Military US Army Honors. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to East End Hospice or the Hamptons Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation.
Robert Francis “Cobb” Kellis was born to Eva and Stephen Kobusiewski on March 24,1931 in Southampton Hospital, the youngest of 12 siblings. Eva (formerly Jankowski) and Stephen (formerly Kobus), hard-working immigrants that arrived in the USA as teenagers, later changed their name to Kobusiewski (reflecting a higher class if they were in Poland). Finally, their name was changed to “Kellis” - specific details unknown, but likely named after a pond in Bridgehampton where Stephen (Grandpa) farmed.
The family moved to Southampton in 1939 after the hurricane. Eva, also known to us as Grandma was strict, but he managed to have a lively childhood, including learning Polish as Grandma spoke it in their home. His sisters who lived home at the time often told us he was spoiled rotten by Grandma as the “baby”, but they loved and cared for each other. This was especially true for Jessie, the second youngest and almost 8 years older, and (our) Uncle Joe Fanning, who married Jessie.
In his 20’s, he served in the Army as an MP in Germany and was proud of his service to his country. (Later, we were fortunate to go back with him to his stomping grounds in Germany and see his joy as he showed us around.)
Eventually, in the mid-1950s, he was introduced to the love of his life, Jane Lucille Kemper of Bay Shore. They were married on July 7, 1956. He and Jane raised two “families” really, with Rob being born later in the year and Keri and Steve born in 1970 and 1975, respectfully. They welcomed all to their table, making life-long friends in the process. Bob and Jane had a wonderful group of friends whom they cherished.
His work skills settled into being a first class roofer, though he built a couple beautiful homes. He was one of the hardest-working persons known to those who worked for him and did business with him. He provided well for his family, working different jobs in the evenings and on Saturdays to make ends meet. He started his own business in the mid-70s and was able to enjoy more leisure time with his second “family”.
He always loved the water, acquiring a small boat along the way and “upsizing” as the means allowed. He built his own Dory. He fished, clammed, crabbed, and musseled with his friends, and enjoyed every minute! Every Labor Day, we’d take a boat trip around Shelter Island.
His ever-expanding garden over the years was another joy in his life.
He was a Met Fan and an Islander Fan. We saw the Isles’ first two Stanley Cup wins together and I will be grateful forever remembering his (our!) joy!
Later, the most joy would come from being with his Grandchildren, making the 450 mile trip to Virginia and the 4.5 mile trip to Water Mill to be with them.
The last 3 years or so weren’t the best for him, as his independent spirit was shackled by a disease he could not conquer, as he did with so many challenges in his life. He left us peacefully on August 4, 2020, with Keri, Steve, Rob, and care-giver Collins grateful to be with him to nudge him Home.
He is survived by his children: Rob Kellis (spouse Sharon), Keri Jane Medio, and Steve Kellis (spouse Jessica); seven grandchildren Elizabeth Newton (spouse Dustin), Mary Caroline Kellis, Catherine Clancy Kellis, Matt Medio, Patrick Medio, Graceann Kellis, and Stephen Charles Kellis, and one great grandchild, Lila May Newton.
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East End Hospice
P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach NY 11978
The Hamptons Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing
64 County Road 39, Southampton NY 11968