Feb. 1st, 1938 – Mar. 1st, 2022
Meredith Lee (Kellam) Wheaton, 84, of Longmeadow, MA passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 1, 2022 surrounded by her family. Meredith was born on February 1, 1938, in Newark, NJ, the eldest child of Minerva Elizabeth Borden and Jack Otto Kellam. Raised in Roselle, NJ, Meredith attended Abraham Clark High School, where she met the love of her life, Thomas William Wheaton. At fifteen years old, Tom proposed to her, and Meredith accepted. Six years later, in 1958, Meredith and Tom were married in Roselle, NJ. Graduating from Rutgers University with a B.A. in Speech Pathology, Meredith would go on to work for many faithful years as a Special Education teacher in South Brunswick and an English teacher and Coordinator of Counseling Services for The Hun School of Princeton. During that time, Tom and Meredith had five children and countless wonderful memories together, but life sadly had other plans, and Tom passed away from cancer in 1980. As Meredith was fond of saying, “however, some marriages are forever”. Always with a curious and penetrating mind, in her spare time, Meredith was a formidable bridge player, an avid reader, birdwatcher, and a world traveler, frequently relating stories of her trips through Europe with dear lifelong friend, Muriel Bollinger Windolf, and her cross-country trek to the west in her iconic Jeep Wrangler. Ever the teacher, Meredith was also known for her generous service to her community, whether it was assisting the local boy scouts with their bird watching merit badges, volunteering at the Longmeadow Senior Center, or writing monthly articles for the Emerson Manor Newsletter. Her smiling face, attentive ear, and kind heart were always a comfort and inspiration to her children and grandchildren alike. Through it all, her proudest accomplishment was that she “lived within a friendly, passionate marriage and raised five glorious kiddos”. Meredith was predeceased by her devoted husband Thomas, as well as her parents Jack and Minerva Kellam, and her brothers Forrest and Jeffery Kellam. She is survived by her five children and their spouses: Anne & husband William MacKenzie of Barnegat Light, NJ; David & wife Allison Wheaton of Longmeadow, MA; Ruth & husband Jim Nehlig of Princeton, NJ; Matthew & wife Denise Wheaton of Ormand Beach, FL; Seth & wife Kathy Wheaton of Wilbraham, MA; as well as her nephews Warren Kellam, Randy Kellam and wife Diane; and niece Cheryl Orszulak and her husband Paul and son Noah. Meredith is also survived by her eleven beloved grandchildren: William MacKenzie (1988), Andrew MacKenzie (1989), Matthew MacKenzie (1991), Thomas Wheaton (1993), John MacKenzie (1994), Sam Wheaton (1995), John Wheaton (1996), Taylor Nehlig (1997), James Nehlig (1998), Letson and Kendall Nehlig (2001); and one great grandchild: Joseph MacKenzie (2021). We all love her and will miss her dearly. There are no calling hours. Burial will be private at the convenience of the family in Kingston, New Jersey. Memorial contributions will be graciously accepted by the National Audubon Society. New England Funeral & Cremation Center, LLC, 25 Mill Street, Springfield, MA has been entrusted with the arrangements. Please visit Meredith’s memorial page at www.nefcc.net for expressions of sympathy.