Eleanor Kay "Pete" Hess Memories
For the past month, friends, family and co-workers of Eleanor "Kay" Pete Hess have left their most cherised memories of the beloved coach. Below is a selection of memories submitted to Swarthmore Athletics.
Karen Borbee, Women's Lacrosse Coach
One of the most vivid memories I have of Pete is when she would be sitting in the front athletic office at the typewriter (the old typewriter and not the computer - Pete was the only person I knew who used that typewriter). She would be working on something and no one really knew what the heck she was up to. I would walk in and she would stop and look up from the typewriter, smile, and ask how I was doing. I would say that I was doing just fine and then ask her how she was doing. No matter how many times we went through this ritual, I was always amazed when she would explain all the things she was working on. She was involved in so many things and all of them were so important and she would just kind of giggle and say how she just had to get this or that done. And I was always blown away that she was so involved and so passionate about so many important things. She was the reason I even had the opportunity to be involved in athletics in my lifetime and she was so unaware of who she was and what she meant to me. She was just happy to be there working on the typewriter and being Pete.
Marian Fahy, Swarthmore Athletics
Pete had a kind heart and an easy smile. She was a great storyteller and loved Swarthmore College and it's students more than anything. She was a great friend and will be sorely missed.
Sharon Green, Swarthmore Athletics
Pete was a wonderful lady. Pete, Marian and I went to lunch as often as we could. I loved the many stories she told about athletics when she was the women's athletic director and how things got done (which I definitely cannot repeat!) Great, great memories!! I will miss you Pete!
Bob Williams, Professor Emeritus of Physical Education and former Marian Ware Director of Athletics
She was instrumental in bringing the men’s and women’s athletic departments together, and in her quiet way, she was very influential in the development of women’s athletics in our conference and throughout the nation.
Pete was an advocate and leader for women’s opportunities in college athletics long before such a position was popular. She was a trusted colleague in the department; she contributed greatly to the College.
Ernie Prudente, Professor Emeritus of Physical Education
She was a dynamo, there’s no doubt about it. Pete had all the women playing sports and she really took care of them. She was always smiling, always cheerful, always pleasant to be around, and I’m going to miss her.
Jackie Neary, Cabrini Field Hockey & Lacrosse Coach
Pete was someone that I had admired when I was a student athlete at Temple and as I enetered into the officiating and coaching world my repect of her as a leader in women's sports grew even larger. I feel privileged to say that I knew her. They don't make people like Pete anymore; she was a rare treasure.
Pete was my beloved aunt and I believe no girl was luckier. She was a good-humored role model as a woman and an educator. I remember many laughter-filled waffle breakfasts at her apartment on College Ave. with the girls on her teams. She loved her students and her players. Who will ever forget the stories she told...and forgot to end? I smile with memories of her and know that she is alive in the hearts of all who knew her.
Pete was a great coach, mentor, and friend. She always had a good story to share, and visiting her felt like being home. Swarthmore was lucky to have had Pete, and I'm lucky to have had her in my life at Swarthmore and beyond. I'll always remember her with a smile, and sometimes a shake of the head, of course!
Pete's smile, energy, positive attitude, love of Swarthmore, and zest for life were beautiful. I entered Swarthmore knowing nothing about hockey or lacrosse and graduated having played lacrosse for Pete and knowing enough about hockey to manage her hockey teams. Pete was a patient, effective teacher. After graduating, I enjoyed seeing Pete at the College for different sporting events and at the Class of 1963 reunions. Her passion and enthusiasm for sports and Swarthmore were contagious and uplifting. In recent years, Pete and I took trips down memory lane as we looked at Halcyons together.
Alison Fox, Class of '80
Thank you Pete!