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Gail Chambers Kellogg

May 5, 1940 — December 24, 2023

Hanahan

Gail Chambers Kellogg

Gail C. Kellogg, loving wife, mother of three children, and grandmother to nine grandchildren, died on Sunday, December 24th, surrounded by her family at her Charleston SC home. She was 83 years old.

Gail was a graduate of The Vail-Deane School and Smith College. She was a wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother, chef extraordinaire, caring dog lover, gifted house curator, avid reader, keen bridge player, blanket knitter, theatre and museum goer, and green-thumbed gardener. She was a force of nature, herding her large brood with compassion and energy, encouraging them to be healthy, to learn, and to grow.   

Gail grew up in Elizabeth, NJ, where she met her husband Jim, and went to grade school with a group of friends whom she kept throughout her life, the self-named BANGS. Gail and Jim lived first in Boston, while Jim finished his law degree, then did a stint in NYC, where Gail helped him pass the NY bar, and later the NJ and FL bar exams. Gail and Jim settled in Summit, NJ, spent their summers in Bay Head and later, their winters at Yeaman’s Hall in SC. Together with friends, they would gather for couples’ dinners, book groups and bridge marathons.

She was happiest at family gatherings, and loved cooking and directing traffic for large extended family dinners held at the Boat House in Bay Head and at Chock Full of Nuts in Charleston. When Jimmy, Kate, and Elizabeth were growing up, Mom was at every school event, every game, every concert (despite J, K, and E’s remarkable lack of talent in the singing department), cheering them on. In the summer, Mom proudly hung up every sailing flag, and made sure that her kids never went without a lifejacket or beach towel (with KELLOGG scrawled in Sharpie across every one) and made sure no one fell off the 2nd floor roof hang-out at 521 East Ave. Thanks to Mom, the Kellogg house was often a party house, with quarters games in the kitchen or basement, and Mom cooking burgers and gathering car keys. It was also a dog lover’s house, from sledding with Nugget’s puppies at Essex Road and adopting Farley, to daily walks with Pepper and Maggie on the NH trails or at Beaton’s Boatyard.

After her children left home, Mom always arrived with kind and sage advice, much needed kitchen utensils, spices from her travels (including off-the-beaten-path places like Cuba and Iran), new recipes, or an extra set of hands for our every apartment and housing move. Her appreciation for life’s idiosyncrasies helped those around her remember to shrug off minor setbacks with empathy, resilience and laughter. Born on Cinco de Mayo, Mom loved celebrating her birthday with a jaunt into the city with her kids for great Mexican food and an off-Broadway play.

Upon the birth of her first grandchild, she became Grammy to all. When her grandchildren were little, Grammy was always on the scene making pancakes, changing diapers, doing overnight shifts, driving the grandkids to activities, hosting NYC Nutcracker outings, spiriting the family away for wonderful family vacations, and outrageously spoiling them at every turn. As her grandchildren grew, Grammy was a technologically-savvy texter and emailer. She hosted or visited them often, offering wise life counsel and English paper advice along with her signature peanut butter cookies. Over the last few months, the grandchildren uploaded pictures to Grammy’s electronic picture frame so that she could see their memories of her and participate vicariously in their daily lives. Every single one of them made the trip to Charleston to spend time with her in her final weeks and days. Grammy and her indomitable spirit and energy will be so missed.

Gail is survived by her children, Jimmy Kellogg, Kate Kellogg, and Elizabeth Kellogg Winterbottom, and adoring grandchildren, Emily Gesualdi, Jimmy and Grace Kellogg; Chris and Andrew Kellogg Peeler; Hailey, Fran, Maile, and Penelope Winterbottom.

A Celebration of Life with remembrances by her children will be held on Saturday, January 6th at 12PM noon at the Bay Head Yacht Club. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Charleston Animal Society, the Charleston Library Society or St. Gregory’s Pantry.

 

 

 

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