A Cape Breton, N.S., man killed in Alberta is being remembered as a star athlete and academic who leaves behind a young family.

Craig Kelloway had been working in Calgary for six years. He and his wife, who is also from Nova Scotia, have a five-month-old boy. He was a science and math teacher at David Thompson Middle School.

Barry Verbeski is a close family friend. He watched Kelloway grow up in Glace Bay and coached him in high school hockey.

"Craig was very bright, very intelligent," he said Tuesday morning. "He was very popular with the staff and the students loved him."

Neighbour charged with murder

Verbeski and his wife were in Halifax when Kelloway died. Harvey Kelloway, Craig’s father, asked them to return to Glace Bay to be with them.

"We were just devastated," Verbeski said. "We were in disbelief."

He and his wife drove home in a daze. They found the Kelloway house busy with friends, family and police officers coming to lend support. Harvey Kelloway is a retired police officer. Verbeski said Craig’s mother, Monica, is distraught.

"Harvey’s doing much better, but Monica is not doing well at all. She’s really suffering," he said. "Harvey told me he didn't know what he’d do without the police and the relatives that have been visiting."

Kelloway and his family recently moved to a new area of Calgary. Police say he was murdered during a neighbourhood social gathering.

Nicholas Rasberry, 30, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. He is due in court Wednesday.

Emergency crews discovered Kelloway's body after police were called to a home in the 100 block of Auburn Springs Close S.E. at around 11:30 p.m. MT Saturday.

Rasberry was taken into custody without incident at the scene, officials said.

Police said the two men met at Kelloway's home Saturday afternoon. Police say Kelloway went to Rasberry's residence Saturday evening and an altercation took place between the two.

Police say other people were present at the home earlier in the evening at the social gathering.

Students remember 'phenomenal teacher'

Verbeski said the Kelloways are a well-known and well-liked Glace Bay family. Craig learned to swim in his pool with Verbeski’s two sons. "We loved them. They were like two of our own," he said.

He described Kelloway as a young teacher making his mark in Calgary. "He had so much to offer. It’s very sad and very shocking," he said. "[His parents] want him home."

A Facebook memorial page to Kelloway is filled with photos and memories from friends and students.

"Mr. Kelloway was a phenomenal teacher, man and father," wrote one former student.

Another called him the "best science teacher ever" and thanked him for "pushing me to be my best when no one else in the school would."

Marina Monro, chairwoman of the David Thompson Parent Council, said the  community is shocked and saddened by Kelloway's death.

"He was wonderful with the kids. He was well liked by everyone at the school and he was by far everyone's favourite science teacher, and he was one of the favourite teachers," she said. 

"He could teach to their level and was very supportive and made science fun."