Her love for the arts was principally evident in three ways - music, dancing and painting.
She was' born in Warren, Rhode Island, November 13, 1909, a daughter of Dr. Marcius H. and Alice Gardner Merchant. She graduated from the Lincoln School in Providence and from the Design and Arts School in Boston. She taught art at the Dedham Country Day School and at Noble and Greenough where she also taught ballet. She studied flamenco groups. She designed and made many of her own costumes for these dances. She also studied the organ in Spain.
She continued her interest in and enthusiasm for the arts after her marriage to J. Randolph Jelleme in June of 1931. After several years in Boston they moved to Nantucket where they made their home at 20 Union Street.
Here on Nantucket Mrs. Jelleme was an active member of the Artists Association, the Garden Club and of the Nantucket Arts Council. She was a member of the Theatre Workshop and was also very active at St. Paul's Church where she played the organ and was choir director. She served as a member of St. Paul's Vestry and as a volunteer worker and committee chairman for the annual St. Paul's Fair.
She continued her painting and for several years maintained an art gallery in 'Sconset and held an exhibition of her watercolors at the Hope Chest on Broadway.