Peter John Kellen , 74, of Scottsdale died on January 18, 2019. Pete was born on December 1, 1944, to Leroy C. Kellen and Mary Rita Smith Kellen in Evanston, Illinois. After the family relocated to Phoenix, Pete attended Brophy Prep (class of ’63) and Arizona State University (class of ‘72), and served in the Army National Guard Reserves from 1965 through 1972.
He then dedicated his life to education. He taught and led at Camelback High School for 27 years, both as a math and social studies teacher, and as Camelback’s longest-standing head football coach to date. He loved nature as an avid fisherman and hunter. To say he was a history buff would be putting it mildly. He spent much of his retirement reading voraciously on the subject, and visiting historical sites and battlefields both here and abroad.
Pete was preceded in death by his parents, and by his older sister Donna Kellen. He is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Mary Gail (Costello) Kellen, his sister Connie (Kellen) Gerber, brother Christian Kellen, and a whole crop of loving and admiring nieces and nephews, and grand-nieces and grand-nephews, all of whom remember his dry, wry wit, usually delivered through his clenched, square jaw, but always, always backed up by his intelligence, his kindness, his insight, and his quiet sweetness. If it’s at all possible, he was toughness and tenderness, both at the same time.
A memorial service will be held at the Starfire Golf Club, 11500 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale, on Sunday, February 10, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Phoenix Union for Education, which sponsors scholarships to student athletes in the Phoenix Union High School District or mail to: Phoenix Union Foundation for Education, 7729 E. Greenway, Ste 300, Scottsdale, AZ 85260.