Posted on November 21, 2011 by Tia Lalani

NOTICE: A memorial service for Dr. Robert Kell will be held at 4pm in the Faith & Life Chapel on Wednesday, November 23, for friends, colleagues and students.

The Augustana campus of the University of Alberta is mourning the passing of a dear friend, respected colleague and valued professor. On November 10, 2011, Dr. Robert Kell passed away as the result of a vehicle accident. The news of his death came as a shock to faculty, staff and students, with the tragedy affecting everyone across the small campus. Dr Kell is survived by his wife and two young daughters.

“Augustana is a tight-knit community, so the collective grief on campus today is palpable,” says Dean Allen Berger. “Along with his colleagues, I will remember Rob as a passionate advocate for students and an exceptionally talented instructor and scholar. I believe his students will remember him as a wonderfully caring teacher and mentor.”

“Rob was a strong presence on our campus, as teacher, friend and colleague,” says Dr. Jeremy Mouat, professor of history and Chair of the Social Sciences department. “We’ll miss his easy smile and his ready laugh so very much.”

The social sciences department is currently finding a professor who will be able to instruct Robert’s students, and a grief counsellor will be in classes if the need arises.

The Canadian flag on campus has been lowered in honour of Dr. Kell. The University of Alberta’s North Campus in Edmonton has also lowered its flag for the next two days. Please see

Students, colleagues and others whose lives have been touched by Dr. Robert Kell are welcomed to visit the shrine growing on the steps of Founders’ Hall. Those with comments or memories to share are invited to post them below or visit the Faith & Life Lounge where a book of memories is available, which will be passed on to Rob’s family. In addition, there will be a basket there to collect condolence cards for Mrs. Kell. An online book of memories is also available through Park Memorial, at, where visitors can light a candle or give a donation as well.

Those in distress are encouraged to visit Augustana’s personal counselling centre with Barry Vall (780-679-1511) or Dawn Kilarski (780-679-1512), or contact our campus chaplain Craig Wentland at 780-679-1535.

A celebration of Robert’s life will be held at Park Memorial Chapel in Edmonton at 10 am on Thursday, November 17. Donations may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

Dr. Robert Kell
Bachelor of Physical Activity Study (University of Regina, 1991)
M.Sc. (Central Washington University, 1996)
Ph.D. (University of Alberta, 2005)

Dr. Kell joined the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus in the Fall of 2007 and was both a tenured Associate Professor in Work Physiology and an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Department of Physical Therapy in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.

He taught courses in exercise and human physiology, and his research involved musculoskeletal rehabilitation as well as athlete training and conditioning. Dr. Kell worked with amateur and professional athletes, as well as injured athletes, and those with chronic pain. He regularly presented at national and international conferences, and published and presented over 50 research papers. Dr. Kell’s work has been acknowledged by Men’s Health, Women’s Health, USA Today, the LA Times, and Arthritis Today magazine and he was identified as an expert in several online journals, the Edmonton Journal and the Globe and Mail. He co-authored an introductory university text on Human Physiology, which saw its first edition published in 2010.

Posted in Alumni, Augustana Campus, Chaplaincy. | Permalink

16 responses to In memory of Dr. Robert Kell, 1967-2011

  • Robert Keens said:
    Nov 24, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    awesome guy great smile worked for me in moose jaw always laughing

  • Valerie Pratch said:
    Nov 21, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    No, I have never met this man, but I do know of him only through the kind words that my daughter spoke of him well before his passing. There was, and continues to be great admiration for his intellect and ability to connect. Understanding death is difficult especially when it someone who was so positively influential on others. Gone before his time and heartfelt condolences to his wife and children.

  • Benjamin Matheson, Bkin, DC said:
    Nov 17, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    Dr. Kell was a huge influence on the person I have become. He balanced a deep passion and understanding of the human body, with a lightness, and joy for life. He enjoyed a good joke, was easy to laugh, and was very approachable. I recall many enlightening and encouraging conversations in the hall of the U of R KHS building hallways. I feel very lucky to have had him as a teacher, mentor, and friend. RIP, good sir. Cheers to you!

  • Karen Shantz said:
    Nov 17, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    Shocked and saddened to hear about the death of Rob. I remember him from my time as a student at the University of Regina. He was easy-going and personable with all of his students. My deepest sympathies to his wife and daughters as they mourn the loss of their husband and father.

  • Robert Keens said:
    Nov 17, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Rob will be missed he was a great guy witha laugh and smile always, he worked for me in moose jaw and was always the in peace buddy

  • Rory Hedley said:
    Nov 16, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    Deepest sympathy to his family and friends. I met Dr. Kell when I was at the University of Regina. He was an awesome professor and very passionate about the subject he taught. This energy was passed on to those that he taught. He had a great attitude and was a favourite professor of many.

  • Stephen said:
    Nov 16, 2011 at 8:21 PM

    Rob was the most influential professor I have ever had. He taught me so many valuable lessons in both school and life. Rob lended me a hand when I needed it and was always someone I could talk to. I will never forget his undeniable sense of humour. Rest in peace Rob, and thanks for everything.

    My sincerest condolences go out to Mrs. Kell and family.

  • Marcia Wickenheiser said:
    Nov 16, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Dear Mel and family: my deepest sympathy in the untimely loss of your husband, father and son. I worked with Rob at the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Regina. He was personable and treated everyone he met with respect. My prayers are with you all during this difficult time. Marcia Wickenheiser

  • Danielle said:
    Nov 16, 2011 at 11:36 AM

    Mel and family, my thoughts are with you.

  • Kelsey said:
    Nov 16, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    I am sending condolences go out to Rob’s family, peers, and friends. Rob was a favourite prof of mine at the U of R, and his infectious personality and wit will be greatly missed.

  • Vanessa said:
    Nov 16, 2011 at 5:50 AM

    My heart goes out to his wife as I had a few university classes with her in Regina. She was a sweet, fun-loving person. My heart aches for her and her family. Deepest sympathy and condolences.

  • Lisa Clements Duckarmie said:
    Nov 15, 2011 at 6:14 PM

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Rob’s family. I would like to share a poem with you…

    I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend
    He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning – to the end.
    He noted that first came the date of his birth and spoke of the following date with tears,
    But he said what mattered most was the dash between those years.
    For the dash represents all the time that he spent alive on Earth…
    And now only those who loved his know what little that line is worth.
    For it matters not how much we own: The cars…the house…the cash.
    What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
    So think about this long and hard…Are there things you’d like to change?
    For you never know how much time is left – you could be at “dash mid-range”.
    If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real
    And always try to understand the way other people feel.
    And be less quick to anger, and show appreciation more,
    and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.
    If we treat each other with respect, and more often wear a smile…
    Remembering that this special dash might only last a while.
    So when your eulogy’s being read with your life actions to rehash…
    Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?

    Take Care!!

  • John Hoddinott said:
    Nov 15, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    My condolences to Rob’s family and the Augustana community over his tragic and untimely death.

  • Curtis said:
    Nov 15, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    My Deepest Condolences to the Kell Family ,our Families go back along way in Moose Jaw i was shocked to hear of his passing ,he had an infectious smile and was a great person and always had a Positive attitude.

  • Kevin Bolen said:
    Nov 15, 2011 at 2:50 PM

    My deepest sympathies to Rob’s family. A great man fondly remembered at the University of Regina.

  • Bridget A. Fanta, BA said:
    Nov 15, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    While I do not recall meeting Dr. Kell, my heartfelt condolences are sent out to his surviving wife and children. Prayers and hugs.