Alasdair Kellie
1945 - 2016
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National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Associate Director Al Kellie, died unexpectedly at his home in Superior on Wednesday, September 7, 2016. He was 71. He was born Alasdair Robert Kellie on March 24, 1945 in Brandon, Manitoba, the son of Charlotte Edna (Murchie) and Angus Kellie. He grew up, and received his early education, in Brandon. Al went on to receive his B.Sc. from the University of Manitoba in Science, with postgraduate work for an M. Sc. from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Prior to coming to NCAR in 1998, he spent more than 30 years with Environment Canada's Meteorological Services of Canada (MSC), with the last 7 of those in managing the supercomputer and telecommunications centre, located at the Canadian Meteorological Centre in Dorval, Quebec outside Montreal. Primary in this responsibility was operating the largest NEC supercomputer complex outside Japan. In the last years with MSC before joining NCAR, Al served as the Director General of the Canadian Meteorological Center. He was prominent in the international arena, representing Canada at the United Nations Agency, and NCAR at the World Meteorological Organization working group committees for data management, observations, and telecommunications, and most recently serving as Chair of the Working Group on Data Processing. At the time of his death, Al was the NCAR Associate Director of the Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL). He held this post for the past 18 years. Under his direction, NCAR has transitioned from a parallel vector supercomputing environment to scalar clusters and increased available resources seven-fold. Realizing that the data center in the basement of the NCAR Mesa Laboratory in Boulder had reached its physical plant limit, he presided over the funding, design, and construction of the state-of-the-art NCAR/Wyoming Supercomputer Center (NWSC) located in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The NWSC opened in 2012. Al is survived by wife Jean Grill, who he met in Boulder in 2005. He is also survived by his two children Karma Cyr and Robert Kellie, his brother Duncan Kellie, two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. In his leisure time, Al loved playing golf, traveling the world to be with friends and colleagues, a fine glass of wine, and honing his creative cooking skills. He cherished the time spent with his family. He considered his co-workers at NCAR his extended family, and enjoyed the working relationships he had with his colleagues. In celebration of Al's life, a memorial service will be held on Sunday, September 18, at 1:00pm, at the NCAR Mesa Lab facility, 1850 Table Mesa Dr., Boulder, CO 80305. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established in Al's memory to support Education and Outreach in CISL. Details on how to support this fund will be available at a later date. Darrell Howe Mortuary, 1701 W. South Boulder Rd., Lafayette, CO 80026, has been entrusted with all service arrangements. Friends may share respects and send condolences online at

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Published in The Daily Camera on Sep. 11, 2016.
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4 entries
September 14, 2016
My condolences go out Alasdair's family during their time of sorrow. Prov 16:26 speaks of a hard worker "the appetite of a laborer makes him work hard, for his hunger urges him on" Alasdair seemed to have a hunger to make better anything he worked toward. May the God of comfort continue to comfort your family during this time of sorrow.
T walker
September 12, 2016
One of the pleasures of visiting NCAR was talking with Al, whether at a panel meeting or over lunch at the Mesa Lab. With great memories of a colleague, who was always generous in sharing his insights
Leo Donner
September 12, 2016
It will forever be one of the greatest blessings of my professional and personal lives that I had the opportunity to work for Al while at NCAR, and ultimately that I became able to call him a dear and fast friend.

I admired and respected Al immensely for his intellect, intuition, and warmth. He possessed an uncommon ability to effectively manage and solve difficult problems strategically while at the same time never forgetting that the people doing the work must always come first. Al cared greatly and passionately about doing good work, but he cared most about the people who do the work. During the time my husband and I worked in the computational laboratory at NCAR under Al's leadership, we both benefited enormously from his investment of time and efforts in our careers and also in the interest and care he invested in our lives with our children.

Shortly after I learned of Al's untimely passing, I happened to notice that his phone number was still listed in the quick dial contacts area of my phone. This is, to me, symbolic of my relationship with Al. Even after I left NCAR in 2012, Al was always there on "speed dial," checking in on me and still looking out for me in the background. Al's name will be staying there on quick dial on my phone, as a daily memory and reminder of my dear friend and mentor and someone whose values I will endeavor to live and embody every day.

My thoughts and prayers are with Al's family, friends, and many colleagues. May everyone draw a measure of comfort in their memories of his spirit, warmth, and sense of humor and the many gifts he gave to all of us during his time with us here.
Krista Laursen
September 11, 2016
Al was special to his Wisconsin family because he picked our dear Jean with whom to share his life, and also because she picked him right back. So few matches, like this one, are made with luck, and magic, and a little bit of heaven.

I will remember Al for his intellect, for his modesty, for his love of people and life, and mostly for his love for Jean. We grieve with you, dear Jean, and our hearts ache for your loss. May you find peace in all he gave to the world.

If souls can be returned to the world, then I hope that his soul will soon be returned to us. We all needed Al here among the living.
Tom Woznicki
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