Former AD stayed involved in Penn-Trafford athletics
Even in retirement, John Patrick “Pat” Kelly Jr. couldn't stay away from Penn-Trafford athletics.
Though he stepped down from his post as Penn-Trafford athletic director in 1997, Kelly remained an avid fan of Warrior sports and regularly kept score for the high school volleyball teams.
His son-in-law, Jim Schall, coaches both the boys' and girls' teams.
Kelly, 76, of Penn Township, died Dec. 24.
“He just loved being with the kids,” one of Kelly's two daughters, Nancy Schall, said of his ongoing interest in Penn-Trafford sports.
“He loved being part of that.”
Before retiring, Kelly had a nearly 40-year run with the school district as a member of the athletic program or as a history teacher.
After serving as a football coach for the former Penn Joint High School, Kelly became the first head football coach for Penn-Trafford in 1972, after a merger with Trafford High School.
He guided the football program for seven years, and then completed a stint as the school's equipment manager before taking the reins of the athletic department in 1985.
Longtime school board member Nick Petrucci described Kelly as a warm-hearted man who lived for Penn-Trafford.
“You can't say enough good things about him,” Petrucci said.
“He was always a gentleman and always polite. His blood was 100-percent green and gold. He was a tremendous guy.”
Penn Township police Chief John Otto, who has been a friend of one of Kelly's three sons, Chris, for more than 30 years, said he also grew very close to Kelly.
“My relationship with Pat changed significantly over the past 10 years to the point that I considered him one of my closest personal friends,” Otto said.
“We enjoyed a lot of long conversations and great times together, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to know him the way that I did.”
Nancy Schall said her father stayed active in his golden years by walking three miles a day, lifting weights, riding snowmobiles and even mowing her family's yard, which abuts her parents' property.
Kelly took a suggestion from his wife, Joyfa, to take up golfing and soon became fixated with the game, Schall said.
One of his favorite pastimes was to head to a Jefferson County hunting camp for a long weekend in which Kelly and his three sons would golf and find a local high school football game to watch.
“He definitely enjoyed life because he went and he did,” Schall said.
Kelly is survived by his wife of 54 years, Joyfa Hague Kelly, three sons, two daughters and nine grandchildren.
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400 ext. 8671 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penn Township to limit speakers, require premeeting registration
- Penn Township commissioners hear from supporters of shale drilling
- Insurance helps cover cost of plow truck in Trafford
- Penn firefighters hope to modify language of rec center sale
- W.Pa. police chiefs discuss use of force, de-escalation tactics