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Louis F. Kallery

September 24,1939 - October 24,2020

Obituary for Louis F. Kallery

Lou Kallery
Teacher. Father. Adventurer. Independent Spirit. Friend.

Louis F. Kallery, decades-long Twisp, Washington resident and beloved former English teacher at Liberty Bell High School, left this world on October 24, 2020. Known as Lou to most, he was born to Louis Sr. and Ethel (Kendy) in Dearborn, Michigan on September 24, 1939.

Lou’s greatest loves were obvious to all who knew him: exploring the American wilderness, literature—especially ancient Greek, motorcycles and his work as an English teacher. His lifelong passion for the outdoors began in his youth. He grew up in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn but spent time playing in the surrounding wooded areas. He was also a Boy Scout and rose through the ranks to become an Eagle Scout.

After graduating from Edsel Ford High School in 1957, Lou relocated to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a remote, wild and stunningly beautiful region covered by northern hardwood forests. There, he attended Northern Michigan University, earning a Bachelor of Sciences in Secondary Education in 1966 and a Master of Arts in 1968.

Following graduation, Lou worked at the university as an English instructor until 1974. The young Mr. Kallery soon attracted a loyal following of students around him and earned a bit of a reputation as a rebel. One story features him creating a stir on NMU’s campus by driving his motorcycle through the grounds.

But it was his unwavering dedication to educating young minds that would define his entire career—and in many ways, his life. Students and faculty alike described him as challenging but fair. As one former Liberty Bell colleague put it, “He demanded excellence and received excellence.” Comparisons have been drawn between Lou and the character of inspiring English teacher Mr. Keating played by Robin Williams in the 1989 film Dead Poets Society, who used unorthodox teaching methods to show how literature and writing matter in students’ own lives.

In 1974, Lou left Michigan for the western United States, living first in Cody, Wyoming and then in Ely Nevada, where he taught at White Pine High School for ten years. During his tenure there, he coordinated a program for the academically talented. In 1987, Lou settled in the Methow Valley and taught at Liberty Bell High School until his retirement in 2005. A letter from the superintendent from that time noted that he’d earned an outsize number of compliments from students and families.

A true adventurer, Lou wasn’t satisfied with sticking to well-worn trails. He made cross-country road trips—sometimes just on his motorcycle—and ventured deep into the mountains and desert to take photographs, hike and explore. Of all the wonders he’d come across in his travels, one was a favorite that he mentioned often: an ancient etching on a cave wall that had been left virtually untouched by time. What struck him most was that the artist, in attempting to render this image of an animal, had made several attempts before arriving at the finished product—exemplifying humankind’s innate drive toward excellence.

Lou was not only an English teacher but an insatiable scholar and avid reader, often losing himself in a book until the early morning hours. Some of his favorites were The Odyssey, The Iliad, The Aeneid and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Other passions included shooting his rifle, archery and fixing up old motorcycles.

He was well-known for his exceptional intelligence and eloquence tempered with a core of rugged charm, as well as his head of thick, lustrous dark hair and a smile that couldn’t be hidden by his beard because you’d see it twinkling in his brown eyes. He enjoyed playful banter and his sense of humor extended first and foremost to himself. He was particularly delighted by some affectionate caricatures a few former students had drawn of him. Lou was unpretentious and could talk to anyone, but he had a low tolerance for snobs. He would often enunciate the word “LIT-er-a-ture” in a snooty accent as a joking takedown of literary elitism.

Lou Kallery was the proud father of daughters Christina (Kallery) and Anna (Vintin), son-in-law Jason, son Sean, daughter-in-law Linda and grandfather to Soren (Vintin) and Quinn (Kallery, and another on the way). He is further survived by extended family and many loving friends, colleagues and former students, along with his much-adored little dog and constant companion of 15 years, Elf.

A memorial service is tentatively planned for the springtime when it can be done safely and will be open to all who would like to pay their respects. In the meantime, those who want to share a memory of Lou may do so here:

https://cadycremationservices.com/obituaries/louis-f-kallery/

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Condolences

My sincere condolences to the Kallery family. I took some of Mr. Kallery's advanced English classes and was also his teacher's aide for a period of time. He was truly an exceptional teacher and introduced me to the art of identifying symbolism in art, literature and film. It was a defining moment in my life as a teenager, because I no longer looked at things in the same way. He required you to deep dive and look beyond the surface for meaning. I'll be forever grateful for the doors he opened in my mind. Terri Ogden- Class of '82, White Pine High School, Ely Nevada.
- Terri Ogden
Betty '87, Mark '79 and I (Joe Stanko 82) give our condolences to the Lou Kallery Family. We are grateful that we had Lou Kallery as our English teacher for Modern Short Stories, Literature and Greek methodology, learning to recognize the character as told by, motifs, allegories, story line and symbols ect. As young high school students, Lou opened our minds and prepared use for college. Even to this day, when reading a book or watching a movie, I still reach back on what Lou taught us when reading literature and watching movies. Lou Kallery took the 1982 Class, National Honor Society Students on an adventurous trip from Ely Nevada, up to the Trinity River CA, Redwood Forest CA, Eureka CA, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, and finally to the Berkeley National Laboratory to see an Atomic/Electron particle accelerator in California before heading back to Ely. To this day it is still my top 10 trip of my lifetime. Thank you Lou Kallery for what knowledge you gave to us all and for expecting the best from each one of use. I wished I could have done a motor cycle trip with you and shown you the Everett WA airplane factory where I work today. Rest in Peace Lou. You are one cool teacher, friend, and mentor. Joe Stanko, 1982 White Pine High school Graduate, Ely Nv.
- Joe Stanko
Lou is one of my favorite teachers of all time. I was blessed to have him as as an English teacher at White Pine High School. He loved to challenge me intellectually, but one of the things he really helped me with is how to get over myself and work beyond my own self-limiting perceptions. I am a teacher today and I will always remember discussing Carl Jung's Theory of the Collective Unconscious with Lou. He was enlightening and intellectually demanding. Thank you, Lou. Thank you to his family for giving us such a fantastic teacher.
- Tony Thiele
Kallery was by far the most influential teacher I ever had. I did very little to keep in contact after graduation but he had a big impact during my Liberty Bell years. His direct and sarcastic sense of humor was something I had never experienced until his 10th grade English class. It was very refreshing and new at the time for me. He never accepted a 'good' paper you had written if he knew you could do more. His expectation of excellence which frustrated me at the time actually made me a better person and critique of myself today. He noticed my interest in film and pushed me to join his film class, (which then followed into an independent film class) ultimately pursuing film studies in college which had a major impact on my life's course. Kallery was more than a teacher, but a mentor that was always challenging us to be the best that we could be. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten
- Adam Stern
What a memorable teacher. He always thought better of me than I did myself. As a gift for babysitting his first daughter, he and his wife at the time taught me how to ride a dirt bike. Years later I would still receive letters from fellow students talking about him and what he taught us. I hope his family takes comfort knowing how many lives he touched and how he is so fondly remembered.
- Donna Brown
He was the best teacher. He always pushed us beyond our limits. I will always remember him for his ability to make me think and his feistiness. May he Rest In Peace.
- Kim Mathis
I will forever be grateful for Lou Kallery teaching us Joseph Cambell's Passage of a Hero and introducing us to the meanings of symbolism of colors. That was one of my clear memories from class. I was an average student in high school but I am getting my Doctorate now at Pepperdine. My condolences to the family of Lou, he was beloved by many Liberty Bell students.
- Amber Stokes

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