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Rev. Winfried M. Kellner

Deceased: 2021-08-13


ICTE Fall: 1990

Reverend Winfried M. Kellner a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester for nearly 60 years, went home to the Lord on August 13, 2021. He was 84 years old.

Father Kellner was born in 1937 in Friedberg, Bavaria, Germany as the fifth child of Hugo Maria and Maria Magdalena Kellner. He came to the USA with his family in 1949. He attended St. Andrew’s and St. Bernard’s seminaries in Rochester and was ordained a priest on June 1, 1963, by Bishop James E. Kearney at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Rochester.

During his long ministry as a priest, Father Kellner served as assistant pastor at St. Alphonsus, Auburn (1963-68); St. Cecilia, Irondequoit (1968-70); Church of the Assumption, Fairport (1970-73); and St. Boniface, Rochester (1978). He became administrator at St. Boniface in 1978 and served as its pastor from 1979-83. In 1983, Father Kellner began a 13-year tenure as chaplain at Monroe Community Hospital. He was Administrator at Our Lady of Victory, Rochester (1996-2001), and served concurrently as sacramental minister at Our Mother of Sorrows in Greece and part-time chaplain at Unity Health (2001-07). In keeping with his German roots, Father Kellner served for decades as praeses for the Rochester branch of the Kolping Society, for which he periodically celebrated Mass in German.

After reaching senior-priest status in June 2007, Father Kellner continued to reside at Our Mother of Sorrows while also ministering at The Legacy and other Greece-area health-care facilities. Because of his progressively worsening health due to Parkinson’s Disease, his sister, Sr. Magdalena, SSJ, (with whom he was especially close) was instrumental in moving Father Kellner to the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse in Pittsford, where he resided until his death.

Father Kellner loved to sing and was a member of various choruses. When he could no longer speak loudly, he would sing the mass for his parishioners, which they could hear. He was an avid skier in winter (still skiing until 2019!) and tennis player in the summer. His prodigious generosity in financially helping those in need was perhaps not generally known, but was much appreciated by the recipients. He definitely was a people person and loved to interact with anyone he met. His phenomenal memory for names was a great aid in this.

He is predeceased by his parents (Hugo and M. Magdalena Kellner) and by four of his siblings (Theodor, Thomas, Sr. Magdalena, and Stephan Kellner). Surviving siblings are Sr. Maria Kellner (Rochester, NY), Maria Bors (Rochester, NY), Agnes Gebauer (Fairport, NY), Norbert Kellner (Frisco, TX), and Benedikt Kellner (Wappingers Falls, NY). There are also 27 surviving nephews and nieces, and more than 50 great and great-great nephews and nieces scattered throughout the USA.

Father Win’s funeral Mass will be celebrated on Thursday August 19th at 10:00am at the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse. The Most Reverend Bishop Salvatore R. Matano will be presiding. With COVID 19 Restrictions in place, the Motherhouse will be unavailable to the public. Instead, the Mass will be live streamed at

Those wishing to do so, may meet the family at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, immediately after the Mass in the Priest’s section. East Entrance.

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Parkinson’s Foundation or to the Sisters of St. Joseph, 150 French Road, Rochester, NY 14618.