Andy Kellett; A Spotlight of Influence
Andy Kellett and his wife LuAnn at their property in West Haven, Utah
Andy Kellett with his grandaughter Shianne Lowe, Miss Rodeo Ogden 2018
Andy Kellett shoes a horse for a client at 82 years old.
Andy still works and doctors his own herd of cows at 82 years old.
Written by Lacie Koford
Western Wasatch Contributor
Andy Kellett is a 55-year resident of Weber County who has made an impact on many through his 34 year teaching career, 21 year junior posse leader and his ongoing horse shoeing business. Not one to boast or brag about his influence on the community, Andy has been a force for good for many he has come in contact with.
As a youth, Andy was a newspaper carrier for the Salt Lake Tribune and delivered newspapers on horseback. It was at that age, around 14-years old, that he learned that the horse’s shoes wore out pretty quickly running all over town delivering papers. He knew he needed to learn how to shoe his horse so he could keep his job as a carrier. Learning this skill led to him eventually shoeing several hundred thousand horses over the span of the next 67 years.
Andy grew up an only child for much of his youth. His older brother had passed away at 7-years old and Andy was only 6 at the time. His brother had endured many years of being sickly. This was his only sibling. Just four short years after the death of his brother, his father passed away, leaving his mother to raise a 10-year-old boy on her own as a widow. She instilled a good work ethic into him and continued to support Andy in his goals throughout his youth. Eventually his mother remarried and his stepfather owned a sheep ranch. It was in his teen years that Andy was tasked with the responsibility of staying on the mountain by himself to tend to the herds of sheep. Other than his dog and a .22, he was often left alone to tend. He reminisces that sometimes it would get a little scary being all alone on the mountain, and more times than he was comfortable with, he’d hear coyotes finding their way into the camp. He learned quickly how to ward off the coyotes and keep the sheep safe. This work ethic stayed with him for many years to come and was key in his success as an adult in his career as an educator and horseman.
Learning leadership skills at a young age because of the responsibility that he shouldered in his youth, Andy went onto become student body president of Moroni High School in Moroni, Utah. After graduation, he was able to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to Paris, France. He remembers loving his time in Paris and tells of the tranquility he experienced spending about three quarters of his mission along the Riviera, taking in the beautiful sights, like old terraces and the Eifel Tower. One memory that stood out was when a mission conference was organized to be held in the Eifel Tower. The conference organizers had rented the site for a couple of days and the attendees were able to be immersed in the landmark and its beauty for that time.
One of the major influences Andy had on the local community was his dedication to education as a math teacher at Walquist Junior High for 21 years and at T.H. Bell Junior High for another 13 years. Retiring in 1997, he was able to teach and influence thousands of youth that passed in and out of his classroom. He also was able to coach basketball and football for a few years and influenced the youth as a dedicated coach. When asked what his advice would be for current educators, he noted that it is important to make the subject matter interesting to the students. Find a way to tie it into their real life. If students can see the application in a unique and interesting way, they will be better behaved in the classroom.
His influence was also felt outside of the classroom when it came to the youth of the community. As a junior posse leader, he taught many how to take care of horses, how to be competitive, and the importance of sportsmanship. He led the Taylor Twisters and West Haven Junior Posse’s for over 25 years. Many of the youth he has taught these horsemanship skills to have gone on to be very successful in their rodeo careers.
Andy and his wife, LuAnn, raised six children, five girls and one boy. All their children grew up around horses and learned how to take care of and nurture their animals. Now, they have grandchildren who have gone on to successful careers in rodeo and are learning the skills that their grandfather has passed down.
Andy’s reach of influence has been felt far and wide to many in the community. He’s still shoeing horses daily and helping his children and grandchildren with their interests and careers. Many of his family have businesses of their own for shoeing and farrier work, all of which have a full clientele. The legacy that he has built will continue to influence generations because of his dedication throughout his life.