Dear Women In Coaching Blog Readers:
On a beautiful spring day with flowers abloom more than a 100 family members, friends, and admirers gathered in the Swarthmore Friends Meeting House (Pa.) to pay tribute to Eleanor Kay “Pete” Hess, who passed away in December of 2011 at the age of 87. For over six decades, Pete was a fixture in the women’s sport scene in the Philadelphia area. Arriving on the Swarthmore campus in 1957, she chaired the Department of Physical Education and Athletics for Women from 1965 to 1979. After a merger of the men’s and women’s departments, she assumed the role of associate chair of the Department of Physical Education and Athletics from 1979 until her retirement in 1990.
An inductee into the Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Pete served as a lacrosse official for over 30 years, teaching many to officiate along the way. Devoted to the sport, she continued to umpire well into her 80s.
Pete’s love for her students, women’s sport, and the higher purposes of education emanated from her like a life force. Her influence was felt by those closest to her as well as untold others who benefitted from her leadership on numerous associations, boards, and organizations.