Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Adam Keilen

June 3, 1980 - February 26, 2018
Kalamazoo, MI



Sunday, March 4, 2018
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
Kalamazoo Location
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
(269) 375-2900

Time of Sharing will take place beginning at 4:00 PM.

Casual attire.

Driving Directions


Monday, March 5, 2018
1:00 PM EST
St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church
1150 West Centre Avenue
Portage, MI 49024
(269) 327-5165

Following mass, food and fellowship will be shared in Marion Hall.

Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Kalamazoo Gospel Mission
448 North Burdick Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 345-2974
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


All who knew Adam Keilen would agree that he was truly extraordinary. He was talented, hardworking, and driven to succeed with a zest for life that was contagious to all who were near. Adam was deeply devoted to his family, and he felt incredibly blessed to share his life with Melissa. Fun-loving and genuine, he had the amazing ability to bring out the best in everyone around him. It was easy to see that Adam was guided by a deep and unwavering faith, and he was an inspiration in the way he lived his life each day. Deeply loved, he will be forever missed.

Life in America was exciting as 1980 dawned. Technology brought us things like car phones, VCRs, and cassette tapes while personal computers were beginning to catch on. As June was dawning in 1980, Richard and Joanne (Pohl) Keilen were preparing for the birth of their new baby. Their anticipation turned to joy on June 3rd when the baby boy they named Adam John was born. He was the middle of three children, and although he was born in Lansing, their family lived in Grand Ledge when he was young. They later came to Portage when Adam was in the fifth grade. When living on the Grand River, Adam had so much fun. He was often out fishing in the early morning sporting his life jacket, and he more recently got into fly fishing. Adam also loved running and playing in the woods, managing to convince his brother that there were monsters in the woods and under his bed.

From the time he was a young boy Adam was a bustle of activity and glued to his father's hip. He loved times spent at their family cottage on Pretty Lake in Mecosta as it was one of his favorite places. There, he enjoyed fishing, skiing, tubing, having campfires, taking the paddleboat out at night, and just being with his family and cousins as they were very close. As a student in Portage, he wrestled in middle school and then for a couple of years in high school. A lifelong entrepreneur at heart, Adam started a lawn mowing business in his neighborhood when he was 12. He started his own little band, often playing “Stairway to Heaven” on his guitar for the golfers playing at the Moors. He loved forensics and history. When he was told he had to pay for his senior trip, Adam talked to a travel agent and ended up getting more participants than needed, which meant that he got to go to Cancun for free! After graduating from Portage Central High School in 1999, he went on to MSU where he was a Pi Kappa Alpha, and earned his business degree. While there, Adam established countless deep lifelong friendships. He also started his MBA in international business right away at WMU. Although he had been inspired many years earlier to go to law school, a visit to his grandparents gravesite gave him the courage to pursue his dreams. So, he did just that. Adam was very close to his grandfather, and took his rosary with him when he took the bar exam after graduating with his law degree from MSU.

Someone who always worked hard, Adam was a fantastic example of what a strong work ethic is. He sold medical devices for a few years, establishing Lithos Surgical Innovations while in law school, and he still owns and operates this business today. With his law degree, Adam began his career working for law firms in Kalamazoo. He dreamt of owning his own practice and creating jobs for others. He later established his own practice. He loved law, litigation, and being in the court room - all except wearing the suit. Adam loved being a business owner and was so good at it. He had a very high standard of ethics and morals, and it showed in his work. As someone who was a firm believer in achieving goals, he and Melissa set personal, spiritual, professional and family goals at the start of each New Year.

New and exciting changes were in store for Adam when he met the woman of his dreams. Her name was Melissa, and they met through friends. After dating for 13 months they were engaged, and 13 months later they were married on September 21, 2007, at St. Johns Church in Plymouth. They were later blessed with the births of two children, Mia and Charlie. Adam was an amazing father who loved playing with his kids. They made amazing memories out on the boat as there were countless family lake outings over time. Adam loved pulling his kids and nieces and nephew tubing and frequently took them out for evening rides on the pontoon.

In everything he did, Adam gave it his all. He had a deep faith and connection to God, and this was always his primary focus. Adam had been raised Catholic and was attending Centerpoint Church for the past several years. He always looked forward to meeting with his men’s bible study for fellowship. One of the most disciplined people around, he ran 13 marathons all over the country. Although he managed to qualify for the Boston Marathon, he never actually ran it. Adam traveled some including his annual ski trip out West with his friends and brother, Ross, golf trips to St. Ives or up North, or just heading out to golf with his father or college buddies. Since he was in high school, it was a tradition to go to South Haven over the Fourth of July, and he loved just being near the water. Adam was an accomplished horseback rider, especially with his thoroughbred, “Bombay.” Everything he did was always BIG as he approached everything with intensity. Adam loved MSU, and his family had to constantly remind him that he wasn’t actually a member of the Spartans football team! One of the highlights of his life was going to the Rose Bowl to watch them play, and they won.

With unending devotion to the people and things he loved, Adam Keilen was a blessing in the lives of everyone he met. He was his younger brother’s hero, his sister’s biggest admirer, and a son that his parents were so proud of, but perhaps his greatest gift was being a husband and father. A friend of Adam’s was a friend for life, and he was the sort of person who would do whatever he could for someone else. Taken from his loved ones way too soon, he will never be forgotten.

Adam J. Keilen, of Kalamazoo, died unexpectedly February 26, 2018, in Bonita Springs, FL. Adam’s family includes his wife, Melissa (Grech) Keilen; 2 children: Mia (4) and Charlie (2); parents, Dick and Joan Keilen; 2 siblings: Summer (Justin) Walker and Ross (Angela) Keilen and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephew. Cremation will take place. A time of sharing will be held Sunday 4 p.m. at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr. Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900 followed by a visitation in the Life Story Center from 5 - 7 p.m. A memorial mass will be held Monday 1 p.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church. A reception will follow in the church hall. Please visit Adam’s personal web page at www.betzlerfuneralhome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Kalamazoo Gospel Mission.