Lillian "Lil" Marie Kelln, age 94, passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 4th, 2023. Lil was born May 31st, 1928, in Fargo, Oklahoma. Lil had four sisters, Amelia Schoenhals, Letha Schottnicki, Mollie Ann Smith, and Virginia Helfenbein, who all preceded her in death. Her mother, Marie Deal, and Lil's husband, Edgar "Ed" Kelln also preceded her in death.
Lil met Ed when he returned from WWII in 1946, they loved to dance, and Ed swept her off her feet. They were married on August 10th, 1947, in Shattuck, OK. Ed called her "Puddles" because she had big blue eyes. Lil and Ed were the proud parents of Melinda and Vance; Ed preceded her in death in October of 1977.
Lil was an excellent cook and was happiest when she had plenty of people to feed. She was known for making "the old country" German dishes, many recipes handed down from her grandparents, who brought them from the German Colonies when they fled Russia during the Bolshevik revolution. Family favorites of Lil's consisted of Kase Noodle, Strudel, and Bierocks. Her love of German cooking and Ed's entrepreneurial skills led them to open a restaurant in 1975, "The Heidelberg Inn," in Amarillo.
For many years Lil also worked in the dental industry. Because she was fluent in German and could speak to patients, she was given her start as a chairside assistant at the dental clinic in Shattuck, OK. When she and Ed moved to Amarillo, she worked for Dr. Aubrey Smith Sr. and then managed the oral surgery practice for Dr. Ron Redus until she retired at the age of 70 in 1998.
Lil was a survivor. She was widowed at 48, having to endure some very difficult years. She managed with what little she had and made it grow, paid for her house, and as a result, made us all very proud of her work ethic and ability to take a little and turn it into something. Lil had the gift of hospitality and made everyone feel welcome at her table.
Lil "Mimi" is survived by her daughter Melinda and husband Jerry Huggins of Lake Kiowa, and her son Vance Kelln, of Amarillo. Her grandchildren; Erin Heisler of Canyon, Currie Kelln of Amarillo, Jarod and Jennifer Huggins of Rockport, Justin and Misty Huggins of Lake Kiowa, and Sara and Andy Johnson of Odessa. Her nieces: Melena Jones of Purcell, OK, Cara Fletcher and husband Mark of Broken Arrow, OK, and LaDena and husband Jeff Charter of Amarillo. Her nephews Randall and Lance Helfenbein of Shattuck, OK. Her great-grandchildren: Madeleine Huggins, Jett and Rogan Hobbs, Hannah, Zachary, Isabella, Idalia, Gabriel Huggins, Emerson and Berkley Johnson, Tylee, and Lilly Heisler.