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by Nancy Ridout

April 6, 2001

With husband, received Ransom Arthur award

There is sad news for Pacific Masters Swimming, USMS, and Richard. Joan Smith passed away on April 10, at home with her family by her side. She was 90 years old. She had experienced health issues for some time and the doctors took her off all medications when they determined the drugs were not helping her. Joan was a valued member of Pacific Masters. She attended our monthly committee meetings, proof read all the Pacific Masters Top Ten listings and compared them with the USMS Top Ten lists to be sure that all our swimmers who deserved to be on the national listings were included. She had an eagle eye and was a natural for this task. She volunteered many years at the Lake Berryessa Swim to process new Pacific Masters registrations. Joan had also served on the Pacific Masters Executive Committee as Vice Chairman of Administration. In 1986 Joan was honored
as Pacific Masters Contributor of the Year, Pacific Masters' highest volunteer award.

In 2000, she and her husband Richard were the recipients of US Masters Swimming Ransom Arthur Award, the highest award for volunteers that is given by USMS. She was selected as a delegate to the USMS Convention for over 20 years, along with her husband Richard. At the national level she served on the International Committee, Officials Committee, and the Records and Tabulations Committee. She also served as the USMS Historian before the History and Archives Committee was created. For many years she served as a stroke and turn official, and supported our program in this way until knee problems forced her to retire, as she could no longer stand on the deck for hours at a time.

She and Richard were recruited to Pacific Masters by Dore Schwab, of TAM, and George Cunningham who also lived in Sacramento at the time. She and Richard participated for Santa Rosa Masters, TAM, SAC Masters, and Walnut Creek over the years. She was a loyal and greatly appreciated member of these clubs. Joan leaves behind her husband Richard, and children Richard Smith II, Linda Lipary, Margaret Robertson, and N. Douglas Smith, eight grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. There will be no service. Cards or notes may be sent to Richard Smith at 4309 Surita Street, Sacramento, CA, 95864. This is an extraordinary loss for us. Joan was part of the history of Pacific Masters and we're thankful she chose to share her talents with us.

written by Nancy Ridout and Michael Moore

For more on Joan see below:

Joan Smith - 2000 Ransom Arthur Award Recipient

National Committee Service: Joan Smith and her husband, Richard T Smith, have been attending the National Convention as representatives of Pacific since the mid 1980s. Joan has served on the International Committee as well as being the United States Masters Swimming (USMS) Historian and is now a member of the Records and Tabulations Committee, the Officials Committee and the ad hoc History and Archives Committee. In addition, she has worked for many years with Joanne Tingley at the convention registration desk. Richard followed the financial track and became a member of the Finance Committee for many years. For the past two years, he has been on the Legislation Committee as well as serving Oceana as its Zone Representative.

Other Contributions On The National Level: Joan and Richard have both served as certified deck officials at many USMS national championships. Additionally, Richard, as Oceana Zone Representative has been instrumental in reviving the local and national activities of the Hawaii Local Masters Swim Committee (LMSC).

Zone and LMSC Service and Contributions: Joan and Richard have been Sacramento Masters club representatives at Pacific Masters Swimming (PMS) committee meetings since the early 1980s. Joan was the co-editor of the newsletter back when the typewriter was in vogue, chair of the PMS Officials Committee for many years, and served as PMS vice-chair, administration. All during this time, Joan has been active as an on-deck official, having served in that capacity at many local, LMSC, and USMS national meets. After surgery curtailed her swimming competition she has remained active in the much needed officiating and meet operations areas. She was named PMS Contributor of the Year in 1986. Richard, having worked in the accounting field, took an interest in the finances of the LMSC and became the treasurer for over a decade, continuing in that position until the late 1990s. As treasurer, he became acquainted and worked with many wonderful people. Richard, encouraged by Joan, became interested in "on deck" officiating and joined her in that endeavor at swim meets at all levels. Both Smiths have been carded officials since the early 1970s. Pacific Masters Swimming presented Richard its Distinguished Service Award in 1995.

Other Areas Of Service To USMS Goals: Sacramento Masters was among the first clubs that sponsored an open water swimming event (at Folsom Lake) and the Smiths helped in making these possible for many years. They have also been involved with the Sacramento Masters annual short course yards pentathlon where Joan was the meet director for many years as well as the pool contract/negotiator while Richard handled the head timer position. At other pentathlons, both Joan and Richard were on the deck as stroke and turn officials. Wherever the Smiths go, Masters swimming is "touted" and as a result, many local swimmers have been introduced to the program. Richard and Joan both received the USMS National Service Award in 1998.

Additional Comments: Joan and Richard's participation dates to the beginnings of the Masters swimming movement. Their first meet as members of the Santa Rosa Masters took place in Livermore, Calif., in a short course meter pool. Thirty years later, they still have friends from that introduction to Masters swimming. In 1972, they attended the first Masters nationals in San Mateo, Calif., (then sanctioned by the AAU) as members of the Santa Rosa Masters. When that meet was over Joan came home with three third place awards while Richard brought home only the "crying towel." Since 1993, Richard has been named USMS All-American nine times. In addition they have attended many USMS nationals and have had the pleasure of traveling to over half of the world championship meets. In late 1974, the Smiths began attending swim competitions and at the invitation of their now long time friend Dore Schwab, Jr. joined the Tamalpais Swim Team and remained with them until a team representing Sacramento was formed. They became Sacramento Masters and have enjoyed swimming as members of that team since then. They maintain that Masters swimming has given them much more than they could return. Their motto: "Speak with someone NEW, someone you have never spoken to before, at every swim meet" has earned them so many friends. Joan and Richard T. Smith fulfill the letter and, more importantly, the spirit of Masters swimming and are indeed an excellent choice for the 2000 Ransom J. Arthur Award.




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