Kingdom Arms by Robin of Thornwood Calligraphy by Robin of Thornwood Populous Badge by Robin of Thornwood

In Memoriam

Sir Cealmhain Realt Dubh, OP, KSCA

(No image of his arms available)
Tierced per pall argent,
sable and gules, in chief
rose branch fesswise, flowered
of a single rose, slipped
and leaved sable.

Jim Kelleher passed away March 30, 2008, due to issues with his heart that he struggled with for some time. He is survived by his wife Kinene Barzin (SCA: Meriwether of the Four Winds).

In the SCA, Cealmhain Realt Dubh was named a member of the Order of the Pelican, a Knight of the West, was a member of the Order of the Leaf of Merit, a Baron of the Court of the West, was named a Knight Bannerette, was granted a Queen's Cypher by Nicorlynn, was a Defender of the West, served on two Queen's Guards and once on the Princess of the Mists' Escort.

I knew Cealmhain from shortly after I moved to the Mists from Oertha in 1986. He was quite active in the SCA at that point. We used to chat about life, the universe, anything, but mostly we laughed. Cealmhain loved hanging out with people he could get a good laugh with. (This seems at variance with some of what I've read elsewhere, but I really do remember him laughing more than anything else ... maybe it was just something that worked between the two of us ...?)

More than anything I will remember just joking with him about things. It didn't matter what they were, although mostly it was SCA related stuff. He was always fun to be around.

We had serious discussions sometimes. Both of us being peers in the Kingdom, we ended up involved in some of the politics (or at least aware of them) going on around us, and we would sometimes get into discussions about those. Or we'd get into philosophical discussions about being peers, etc. I know he took being a peer seriously, and the one squire I know he had (Iricus le Ferur) was proud of his knight, even though Cealmhain was not known for making it far into the lists. What was outstanding was that he really did care about the ideals of chivarly, courtesy, and honor.

I was on vacation when I read about his passing. I wasn't horribly surprised, because I knew he had some health issues, and in the last few years he was not around much ... However, everytime I did see him we fell into the old habits of finding things to laugh about, stories we could tell and embellish, and so on. I will miss those times. He was a good man, and will be missed by those who knew him. -- Hirsch von Henford

I learned tonight that my Knight, Sir Caelmhain (Kellwin) has passed away. It's been posted on SCA-West, which was how I found out about it. I had lost touch with Jim after he moved up north to Clearlake area, and I had moved to Vallejo. As with a lot of things never intended, I lost touch with him. Always meaning to get in contact, but never doing it. Now, it is too late. We didn't part on bad terms. Didn't really even part ways, just drifted and lost contact without the joint ability to attend fighter practice or go to events together. In all these past few years I never left my squireship to him. Now....I mourn his passing.....

Jim was a good man, he had a temper, but for the vast majority of the time, he was calm, had plenty of encouragment and great stories to tell.

He is missed.

-- Iricus le Ferur

It saddens me to hear about Kelwyn's death. I only knew him as Kelwyn (and Jim), not by Sir Cealmhain Realt Dubh.

At one time, I knew him fairly well – long go and far away. He was one of those fellows who was down to Earth and mostly quite serious. I met him decades ago at fighter practice at Houghton’s place in Oakland. He, like others I have known, had few people he talked with and I was one long ago. Kelwyn was one of my Queen’s Guards in A.S. XIX. He was a good man, helpful, quiet and mostly seemed to be in the background – often stepping back from a crowd.

In the early days, there were times when we traveled to some day events and I drove and we talked of life matters and what to do in certain life situations. I specifically remember him and Christopher of Houghton and me going to Chico for a small event or maybe it was a fair one Saturday. Both men were with me on merchant’s row when I bought myself a silver ring and we three discussed why I needed to do that. Seems to me Christopher was Crown Prince then, so that tells us approximate timeline. Thanks for your advice, Kelwyn, as it was good advice. I still wear my little ring.  

It was good to see photos of Kelwyn on West’s history. The 1989 photo is how I remember Kelwyn before we left the West. Seeing him in the 2002 photo, standing there, older – and reflecting with his head bowed, still in the back of the crowd – was an incredible and poignant photo. My heart goes out to Meriwether and many prayers for she and all others who were his family and friends.  

Another warrior and good man has passed and left us now. Another of my Queen’s Guard has passed and this makes me quite sad. That I am aware, this is the fourth of my Queen’s Guard and Archers who have passed. Might these warriors revel together in the Ethers and speak of times past, SCA battles fought and life’s challenges they all met with the strength of a Knight.

Lift a glass to this man and drink a toast Sir Cealmhain’s (Kelwyn’s) life – as he so deserves it.  

Godspeed, Kelwyn.... be at rest...

  ~Countess Dierdriana of the Misty Isles, OP

I first met Sir Cealmhain in Clan Colin. My memories of that time are very fuzzy and we lost track of each other. We hooked up again when I moved to the Bay Area in 1989. When his Lady Wife stopped attending SCA events she agreed to let him fight for me. Sir Cealmhain carried my favor until he became too ill to fight. He was always honorable and courteous in the lists.

For the last tourney he fought in I made a new favor. It was gold and silk embroidery. I practically had to stand over him to get him to wear it. He did not want to hurt it. But he did wear it and I know he was the envy of everyone else.

Since moving to Clearlake Jim and Kinene drove down to my place to play Traveller every couple of months. My place was a central place for the game group to meet. The last time he came he had trouble climbing my stairs. He e-mailed me to ask about Gaius and that was the last time I heard from him. His passing leaves a big hole in my heart for a man who meant a lot to me.

-- Letitia de Scotia

Purgatorio Coronation (August 24-25, 1985, AS XX)
March Crown Tournament (March 22-23, 1986, AS XX)
Mists Investiture (May 10-12, 2002, AS XXXVII)
Mists Investiture (May 10-12, 2002, AS XXXVII)

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The West Kingdom History Website was created by and is maintained by Hirsch von Henford (mka Ken Mayer).