May 2, 2011

29-Year Bronco Volunteer Ed Kelly '39 Passes Away at the Age of 94; Condolence Cards Can be Sent to the SCU Athletic Department

Note: For those who want to send a card of condolences to the Kelly family - they are asked to send it to the following address: ED KELLY MEMORIAL, Santa Clara Athletics, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053.  Santa Clara will deliver the cards/condolences to the family in a timely manner.

Ed Kelly '39 passed away late Sat., April 30 after a recent surgery. Kelly, 94, was surrounded by those who loved him.  Kelly had been a volunteer at Santa Clara for more than 29 years.

In the photo (to the right) Kelly is on the court at halftime with Athletic Director Dan Coonan when Kelly was honored at the Saint Mary's game on Feb. 11, 2005 for 25 years of service to Santa Clara.  Santa Clara defeated Saint Mary's that night 78-76.

Funeral arrangements are pending and check back to for further information. His obituary will be in the San Jose Mercury News on Wednesday.  Most of the Santa Clara coaches and staff members gathered Monday morning to honor Kelly and talk about what his legacy meant to Broncos everywhere.  Many coaches and staff spoke about their love for Kelly and all they learned from him.  Head women's soccer coach Jerry Smith and head men's soccer coach Cameron Rast reflected separately on what Kelly meant to them with tears in their eyes.  Smith talked about how they golfed 19 holes last month and Rast talkeda about how he was always there in the ticket office.  Associate Athletics Director Fred Smith also remarked how Kelly knew every season ticket holders address and phone number.  BBF Director Rusty Weekes reflected on the BBF Golf Tournament honoring Kelly in 2010 and how happy everyone was to give him a standing ovation - even Kelly.  One of the campus ministers also led the Bronco Athletic Department in a touching prayer for Kelly.

"It is difficult to express in words all that Ed Kelly meant to the Santa Clara family," said Bronco Athletic Director Dan Coonan.  "As a full-time volunteer for almost 30 years, the sheer monetary value of his services to the Department easily exceeds 2 million dollars.  But his true contribution was so much more than that.  He managed to develop his own unique and very personal bond with each new coach or staff member who joined the Department.  His support and deep commitment to Santa Clara Athletics was unwavering - to the point where it tore him up inside if a health issue or another matter caused him to have to miss a day.  He was a mentor to all of us - a stellar example of how to live a life for others in the great Jesuit and Santa Clara traditions - traits which earned him an Ignatian Award from the University.  For so many in the Department he was the first face they saw each day as he greeted them as they arrived at the Leavey Center and walked past the Ticket Office.  For literally hundreds of other Santa Clara alums he was the one they counted on to cheerfully handle all their Bronco ticket requests.  He touched so many lives in his "second career" here that ended up spanning three decades.  He left an indelible imprint on this University, and he will be dearly missed."

Kelly began volunteering at his alma mater on Dec. 1, 1981 as the Ticket Operations Manager of Santa Clara University's Athletic Department. In his position, Kelly prepared ticket inventory for the athletic events, and filed advance ticket orders requested by the general public. He assisted in game security by managing ticket operations during home game sporting events and was also responsible for making money deposits resulting from daily sales and game sales.

Prior to joining the athletic staff, Kelly worked as manager of general services at PG&E for 42 years. His responsibilities included administrative services, building maintenance, automotive transportation, land management and materials supply.

Kelly grew up in nearby Salinas and graduated from Santa Clara in 1939 with a bachelor's degree in commercial science. He received an Ignatian award in 1992 from the Alumni Association for his contribution to society and services to others.