Keith (Aaron Armstrong) Kellis

Published 5:05 pm Thursday, December 7, 2023

June 13, 1957-Nov. 27, 2023


Aaron Allen Armstrong (formerly known as Keith Allen Kellis, I), age 66, of Portage Michigan passed away Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan surrounded by loved ones. Keith (Aaron) was born on June 13, 1957, in Dowagiac, MI to Leonard (Armstrong) Kellis and Phyllis Mae (Pompey) Kellis. A three-sport athlete (football, basketball, and track and field), he graduated from Dowagiac Union High School in 1975 and later attended Community College.
Keith was employed by General Motors for many years and was nicknamed “The Machine” for his ability to man the assembly line and consistently produce many parts. Later in life, he served as a Volunteer Court Officer for Kalamazoo County. He was an avid fisherman and loved tinkering and fixing things. Other pastimes include time spent refereeing basketball, bowling leagues, playing softball, a love of music, and helping those in need.
Surviving him are Jessie Ellerby; siblings: Teresa (Kenneth) Wilson of Southfield, MI, Eric (Jessica) Payne of Grand Rapids, MI; Leslie (Albert) Payne-Bownes of Dowagiac, MI; Leonard Kellis of Battle Creek, MI, Lennard (Destiny) Armstrong of Plano, TX; Teressa Armstrong-Newton, and Timothy (Valorie) Armstrong, of Scottsdale, AZ. Four children: Eric (Nicole) Steward of Vandalia, MI; Kelley Kellis, Keith (Justina) Kellis II, and Kyle Kellis of Portage, MI; grandchildren: Jazzmyne (Robinson) Swanson, Anthony Burling, Kiarra Kellis, JaMiiyen Steward, Cameron Steward, Kaeden Kellis-Adams, and Keith Kellis III; great-grandchildren: KJ Swanson, Asher Burling, and Sye Swanson; and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father Leonard (Armstrong) Kellis, his mother Phyllis Pompey, stepfather Chester A. Payne, his brother Phillip Kellis, grandparents: Homer and Isabel (Lett) Pompey, and Nancy (Johnson) Kellis.
Friends may visit with the family on Sunday, Dec.10, 2023, from 2-4 p.m., at Clark Chapel-Starks Family Funeral Homes, 405 Center Street, Dowagiac, Michigan.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11  a.m., on Monday, Dec. 11, 2023, at Clark Chapel-Starks Family Funeral Homes. Interment will follow in Riverside Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be directed to the family. To leave an online condolence or share a memory, please visit