Monday, January 4, 2016

Frost Valley people mourn the passing of Jim Kellogg

The Frost Valley community has lost one of its most consistent and imaginative and longest-serving supporters—Jim Kellogg. Some will know Jim through the naming of Kellogg Lodge, others for his having set up the important annual staff awards (and thus for his visionary emphasis on the quality of Frost Valley's staff). Those who have been with FV a long time will remember him as the Chairman of the Frost Valley Board of Trustees.

Here is the overview of Jim's service to Frost Valley written at the time of his induction into the FV Hall of Fame in 2009 (along with Helen Geyer):
In the era of priority-shifting, ceaselessly reorganizing, moving-target nonprofit boards, Jim Kellogg’s steadfastness, focused commitment, and deep sense of the volunteer’s honor shone like a beacon across the national landscape; and thus Frost Valley shone too. Jim served as a member of Frost Valley’s Board of Trustees for three decades and for fifteen of those years was our Board President, succeeding Woody English. The two together can be said without exaggeration to have provided a vision of continuity unparalleled in camping. Not coincidentally this was the period in which Frost Valley’s summer camp program solidified its roots and re-attained greatness, the environmental education program was created, the conference program rose to a level of size and prominence that just two or three other camps attained, financial aid was awarded to needy families, international partnerships were constituted, and disabled children were mainstreamed into the camp without hesitation or blink of an institutional eye. Jim provided leadership when Frost Valley had to effect an efficient, never-look-back recovery from disaster by fire. Always looking problems and challenges straight on, Jim saw obstacles as opportunities, adhering without fanfare but firmly to the two-word version of Frost Valley’s mission: “Build Strong.” His service to Frost Valley has been part of a larger context of volunteer leadership and civic engagement. He has been the President of the Community Foundation of New Jersey, a member of the Bloomfield College Board of Trustees, President of the Children’s Specialized Hospital of Mountainside, and President of the J. C. Kellogg Foundation. Jim Kellogg’s distinguished career demonstrates an unmatched generosity of commitment to public service, eloquently bespeaking this core tenet: we must invest in others, so that everyone, regardless of economic background or circumstances, has the resources necessary to maximize his or her potential. Jim Kellogg truly does build strong, and when we honor him tonight we honor our most basic reason for being as an organization.
Mike Ketcham has written: "Jim was a true visionary, friend, and steadfast volunteer for FV.  He is now among those remarkable leaders who devoutly believed in our cause and inspire us to continue on.  I am honored to have served with him."

Peter Swain adds: "Jim was certainly one of the stalwarts of FV’s lay leadership and a friend of the staff.  I always felt that he was concerned about me as a person as well as concerned about the organization as a whole."

Here is an obituary:

James C. Kellogg, philanthropist and loving husband, father of three children, and grandfather of nine grandchildren, died on Thursday of congestive heart failure, surrounded by his family. He was 76 years old.

Jim was a graduate of The Pingry School, Princeton University, and Harvard Law School. During his career, he was a partner at the Manhattan law firm Townley & Updike, the President of the Community Foundation of New Jersey, the President of the J.C. Kellogg Foundation, and a valued trustee of many non-profit boards. He was most proud of his philanthropic work in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He cherished the idea of creating opportunities for people from disadvantaged backgrounds to be healthy, learn, and grow.

Jim grew up in Elizabeth, NJ and spent his summers in Bay Head, NJ where he made many friends whom he kept throughout his life. Those friends would gather on a regular basis for couples' dinners and bridge marathons. He looked forward to Romeo lunches, Scorpions bridge, and the Literatti book club, where he always touted the latest political book.

In the past few years, Jim became a Life Master at bridge by participating in ACBL bridge tournaments across the country. He spent his winters at Yeamans Hall in South Carolina. Jim had a deep commitment to public service; he advised and served on the boards of Frost Valley YMCA, Bay Head Chapel, Short Hills Community Congregational Church, Point Pleasant Hospital, the Children's Specialized Hospital, Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Meridian Health Systems, Council of Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, Union County College, Bloomfield College, the Prudential Insurance Company, the Trust for Public Land, and the Scholarship Fund for Inner City Children. He also served on the the boards of New Jersey Transit and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.

His lifelong passion for philanthropy paled in comparison to his love for his family - his wife, three children, and nine grandchildren. Jim was happiest at family gatherings and loved playing backgammon and gin rummy with his children and grandchildren. Pop Pop's signature backgammon move was to wait for his opponent to admit defeat at which time he would turn the board around and play the losing side, attempting to teach his mentee how to stage a comeback and win! He was active in every aspect of his children's and grandchildren's lives, including attending their school events, and offering advice on and help with work issues.

Jim is survived by his wife, Gail Chambers Kellogg, his children, Jimmy Kellogg, Kate Kellogg, and Elizabeth Kellogg Winterbottom, adoring grandchildren, Emily, Jimmy and Grace Kellogg; Chris and Andrew Kellogg Peeler; Hailey, Francesca, Maile, and Penelope Winterbottom, and his three younger brothers, Peter, Kelly, and Rusty.

A service to celebrate his life will be held Friday, January 8th at 12:00 noon at the Short Hills Community Congregational Church. Immediately following the service, the family invites all attendees to join them for lunch at the Short Hills Club. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Frost Valley YMCA in Claryville, N.Y.

Jim Kellogg, at left, joining Jane Brown and Mary Wheeler in celebration of Halbe Brown's induction into the Frost Valley Hall of Fame. Jim and Halbe worked very closely together during Jim's years as Chair of FV's trustees.