Born in Weesp but raised in Collingwood, Ontario (his family moved to Canada when he was four), Kea started his National Hockey League career with the Atlanta Flames. He also played with the St. Louis Blues. His career lasted from 1974 to 1983.
He was playing for the Blues' Central Hockey League affiliate in Salt Lake City in 1983 when he suffered severe head trauma when he fell and hit his head on the ice during a game. The injury left him physically and mentally disabled. Because he was playing in a minor league game, National Hockey League benefits for catastrophic injuries did not apply to his case, and he and his family struggled financially for several years because he was unable to hold a job.
On September 1, 1999, Kea accidentally drowned in the swimming pool of his family's summer home in Ontario, Canada. He was 51.
Kea is the first Dutch-born player to score a point in the NHL.