James Stewart Kell

Army of the United States
25 September 1948 - 18 October 1967
Montebello, California
Panel 28E Line 036

Combat Infantry

Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air MEdal, Army Commendation, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, RVN Military Merit, RVN Gallantry Cross, RVN Campaign
James S Kell

The database page for James Stewart Kell

22 July 2002


He was the most wonderful son that any mother could have and I never will stop missing him. I was so lucky to have the open kind of relationship that we had together all of his life. It was very important to Stewart that I be friends with his wife. And since his death 35 years ago I have been close with Gaighl and her family.

His cousin Giff and I introduced them to each other in the summer of '65. So many memorable times in that new red VW bug. I remember them talking on the phone and running up the phone bill to $60.00 one month, calls between Montebello and South Pasadena. I hit the ceiling and said they had to share the cost. (Never thought about Gaighl's parent's telephone bill she had to pay). Now . . . now I don't care what the price just to hear his voice once more.

His loving mother,
Hazel Hartunian

08 June 2000

He and I attended Montebello High School together and graduated in June, 1966.

Richard M. Rollo

13 June 2001

I served with Jim in the 1st Air Cav in 1967.
One hell of a soldier.
Jim now walks point in Heaven.

James (Doc) Hancock

27 June 2002

In Memory of James Stewart Kell

If there is a hero I could name in my own lifetime, it would be James Stewart Kell. He gave of himself to the cause of freedom above-and-beyond the call of duty to this nation for service in Vietnam, an only child, an only son. For his dedicated service, he gave up his life to the cause of freedom, freedom in which he believed.

Stewart's wife, Gaighl, and I were coworkers in a Los Angeles office while Stewart served in Vietnam. I met Stewart, I know his mother, Hazel, as a very dear friend along with his stepfather, Art. Stewart is one person I will never forget. It was an October afternoon when I took the telephone call from one of Stewart's aunts telling me that Stewart had been killed in Vietnam. It was a heartbreaking call I will never forget. Together Stewart's wife, Gaighl, and I rode to her home in the San Fernando Valley where Grandma was in the kitchen baking pies. With all of Gaighl's family, I (as a friend along with other dear friends) stood together through it all from the time of the notice of his death, to the arrival of Stewart's casket at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills. Together we waited the 10 days for his casket to arrive. Together we stood at the open casket (covered with glass) to say our heartbroken goodbyes to Stewart - dressed in the uniform he had worn so well.

At his funeral, where Stewart is buried at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills, we stood together (family, friends, coworkers) as The Reverend Raymond Lindquist of the Hollywood Presbyterian Church (along with the military chaplain) delivered the eulogy and farewell to our great friend, my/our hero. It was sad for me as taps rang out and I came to the realization that Stewart was really gone from us. I will never forget the letters that came to me directly through Stewart's wife to the office. One in particular will eternally be burned in my memory and heart in a letter that said:

"Dear Charlie Brown, that's what my wife, Gaighl, calls you so I thought it would be OK for me to call you that too. I was just sitting here in the jungle and I thought I would drop you a line. Soon the monsoons will be coming and I am not looking forward to that."

Tears nearly filled my eyes just in reading that ... he went on to tell about some of the skirmishes they had been through and went on to say how glad he was that his wife and I were (still are and always will be) such great friends and how much I appreciated her art work. He also went on to say that he was looking forward to when his time of service would be completed and he could return home to continue on with educational and short/long term career pursuits to which he and Gaighl had agreed.

I had lunch with Stewart and Gaighl one time, just before he went to Vietnam. I remember walking through the parking lot with them on our way to the Hamburger Hamlet in downtown Los Angeles and as we were walking, I happened to look down at his feet and I thought to myself, "My goodness, look at the size of those shoes. This fellow has shoes whose size would be too big to fill." To this day, this guy who volunteered his own life to the cause of freedom will always be one I will forever hold dear. In my opinion, James Stewart Kell will always be one who I believe ought to be remembered in this nation, our country, as one of this nation's own greatest heroes.

Knowing Stewart changed my life. Stewart's death set me on a course of inquiring deeper about life, its reasons and purposes, and because of Stewart's death (as someone so very, very young in our nation with such a promnising future), I was lead further into the study of life's reasons and purposes (through religious studies by my own choosing to do do).

Stewart, you will never be forgotten.

Your friend with love, Charlotte
(one you liked to call "Charlie Brown", remember!)

A Poem Especially for Stewart

Holy Father God today
Thank You that Stewart came my/our way,
A heart of gold, a friend so true,
A hero to me and for our nation too.
In Your strong protection where he remains,
Always and eternally
I will be forever so grateful
For such a caring friend who walked my way.

Written July 1, 2002
Especially and always
in fondest memory just for Stewart.
from Charlotte

Charlotte Brueske
PO Box 134-321
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

29 June 2001

The night I was told of my husband's death I dreamed he and I were back in the hotel room where we had been 10 days before in Hawaii on R&R. We had just come in from the beach and Stewart was taking off his tee shirt. There was a clean black hole on his chest and I remember reaching for it when he caught my hand. I walked over to the balcony and turned around to see him bending down taking off his shoes and there was a graze across his hip. This time I confronted him and said, "Stewie, you're not telling me everything. Did they hit you in the heart?" "Yes, Gaighl, and I died instantly." I asked him if he was going to Heaven and he said, "I'm already here and I'll wait for you."

It wasn't until February when I received his Bronze Star/V Device, etc, that I learned Stewart had been shot through the heart with a graze on his left hip. Now, the part of the dream where he said he was waiting for me is as valid as the physical wounds.

We learn from history, even the wars like Vietnam that were so unnecessary. This is a man I love so dearly and will through eternity "and a day" .

02 Oct 2003

When I come to my room I pretend I can see your face as I remember you.

I feel the closeness but there’s nothing beside me.

I see you as you were and feel no change between us.

My memory reaches for you and pulls you closer to me.

I want you to be with me for the rest of my life and never leave me alone again.

Immortal Beloved

Gaighl Kell Muntean

27 May 2004

This is my very first time to ever visit the Wall. For so many years I just couldn't. You and the other two guys were all my friends, and I have not, nor ever will forget you. See you on our next journey.

From a buddy,
Tom Osborne
6418 N. M-129, Pickford, Mich. 49774

A Note from The Virtual Wall

B Company, 1/8th Cavalry, lost three men on 18 Oct 1967:

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his wife,
Gaighl Kell Muntean
08 Jun 2000

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index K
CA State Index . Panel 28E


With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 05/15/2005