Lyman Francis Kells was born in Seattle, Washington, on 19 May 1917. He earned a 1938 BS in Chemistry from the University of Washington. He received a PhD. in 1944, also from the University of Washington.
Kells held research positions at the Carbide and Carbon Chemicals Corporation of New York, New York, from 1944 through 1946; the Standard Oil Development Company of New Jersey, from 1946 through 1948; and Allied Chemical Corporation of Morristown, New Jersey, from 1951 through 1961. His wartime work involved the separation of Uranium isotopes by gaseous diffusion, based on a method developed in part by Harold Urey.
Kells was on the faculty of Hunter College 1948-1949, an Assistant Professor at Iona College 1949-1951, a Special Lecturer at Newark College of Engineering in 1961, an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at East Tennessee State University 1962-1964, and a Professor of Chemistry at Westmar College 1964-1974. He died on 4 November 2004 in Seattle, Washington.
Kells was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and the New York Academy of Science, as well as this Society. He was a Unitarian. Kells is survived by his daughters Leila Stefani Newcomb and Christina V. Cohen.