Peter J. Kelly Jr., 60, of Ambler, a retired teacher, bowling coach, and drama program director at Abington High School, died of complications from strokes Thursday, Dec. 23, at Rydal Park, a retirement community in Rydal.
Mr. Kelly taught English for 22 years at Abington and chaired the English department for three years before retiring in 2008. He coached the junior varsity and, later, the varsity bowling team until the mid-1990s.
As director of the school's drama program, he directed plays and codirected the musicals. "He had countless successes, especially the presentations of his beloved Annie. He frequently boasted that he had seen the musical 65 times," a former colleague, Ted Weiner, said. Often, Mr. Kelly played bit parts in the productions and assigned minor roles to other teachers, much to the students' delight, Weiner said.
As a teacher, he employed interesting anecdotes and clever humor, Weiner said. "Pete's attendance record was impeccable. He only missed two days in his entire career due to family funerals. He was usually the first to arrive in the morning. The school was his family," Weiner said.
Mr. Kelly graduated from Springfield High School in Montgomery County and attended East Stroudsburg University, where he played soccer.
After graduating in 1972, he joined the faculty of Glenside Weldon Junior High School, and later taught at the former Abington High School North Campus. He coached soccer and basketball in his early years in the Abington School District and was a baseball umpire for many years for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association. He played for several softball leagues.
While teaching, Mr. Kelly earned a master's degree in English education from Chestnut Hill College and a master's degree in education from Arcadia University.
He loved walking, nature, and travel, and had visited England, Scotland, and the village in County Tyrone, Ireland, where his father was born.
Mr. Kelly is survived by a brother, John.
A Funeral Mass will be said at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 28, at Holy Martyrs Roman Catholic Church, 120 Allison Rd., Oreland, Pa. 19075, to which donations may be made. Friends may call from 9:30.