Marilyn's Story

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Marilyn Kellam Christian
Marilyn Kellam Christian (née Marilyn Steed Kellam), 64, passed away Thursday, July 20, 2017 at Huntsville Memorial Hospital in Huntsville, Texas after a brief but feisty battle with ALS. She was surrounded by family and died peacefully.
Marilyn was born April 14, 1953 in Houston, Texas to parents Kendall and E. Jeanne Kellam. The youngest of four children and an identical twin, her childhood was anything but mundane. Her family moved across the globe with the oil industry to include residences in Iraq and Venezuela. She settled back in Houston as a teenager and graduated from Milby High School in 1971. Marilyn met John Christian Christmas Day 1974 while visiting her parents in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia. They married the following year on December 10, 1975. The globe-trotting continued with Marilyn and John taking up residence in Gabon, Libya, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and multiple cities across the United States. Marilyn and John had one daughter, Elizabeth, born July 19, 1984.
Dedicated to helping others, Marilyn graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1980. She found her passion as an operating room nurse, quickly ascending to ever-increasing leadership roles. In 1998, Marilyn was instrumental in opening the Huntsville Surgery Center in Huntsville, Texas, one of the early outpatient surgery centers in the industry. She went on to set up and run over 20 surgery centers, ultimately owning and operating Advantage Surgical Partners, an outpatient surgery center management company, in partnership with her sister, Carolyn. An expert in the industry, Marilyn was often called upon for consultation and spoke at conferences nationwide. She was dedicated to her profession and a tireless patient advocate. Her relentless work-ethic and can-do attitude were inspirational to all who associated with her.
Her hobbies included traveling, spending time with family, golf, fishing, and bridge. She was well known for her quick wit, passionate opinions, and her award-winning chocolate sheet cake. Marilyn was expecting her first grandchild in August and was thrilled about becoming a grandmother.
Marilyn is survived by her husband John Christian of Huntsville, TX, daughter Elizabeth Plowman of Moncks Corner, SC, parents Kendall and Jeanne Kellam of Huntsville, TX, sister Charlotte Twardowski of Spring, TX, brother Wayne Kellam of Bryan, TX, twin sister Carolyn Bruce of Houston, TX, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Huntsville, Texas later in the year at a date to be determined. As Marilyn dedicated her life and career to helping others, the family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her name to the ALS Association (www.alsa.org) to help others suffering from this disease.
Published on August 1, 2017
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Waller-Thornton Funeral Home