Navy veteran Kelly Crowell is a six-year volunteer softball coach
Rosemead High School is poised to retroactively award a high school diploma to a longtime community member who dropped out of high school just weeks ahead of graduation to join the Navy during World War II.
Kelly Crowell – a 60-year Temple City resident who has volunteered as a pitching coach for the Rosemead High girls’ softball team for six years – will join the Class of 2018 in receiving a diploma during the school’s commencement ceremony. “My grandchildren think it’s great, and they’re all going to be there,” said Crowell, 90. “The more I think about it, the better I like it. I will finally get to graduate.”
Crowell, who was born in a mining town in Colorado, moved to the San Gabriel Valley at age 14 and began attending Mark Keppel High School. New to the area, Crowell spent more time exploring surrounding cities than going to class.
Crowell joined the service near the end of his senior year in June 1946. Part of the Seabees construction crew, he built naval bases, airstrips and landing fields over the next two years.
He then joined the reserves during the Korean War. He was later a printer for 40 years before taking on odd jobs ahead of his retirement.
Diagnosed with macular degeneration, Crowell over the last six years has walked the mile from his home to Rosemead High School to help the softball players perfect their pitch.
Crowell will join nearly 400 Rosemead High graduates and receive special recognition at the start of the ceremony, to be held on Panther Field, 9063 Mission Drive, Rosemead.