Obituaries

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Passages: Honor Open Water Swimmer Herman Willemse Dies at 87

International Swimming Hall of Fame Honoree Herman Willemse of the Netherlands passed away July 7, 2021, at the age of 87. Herman Willemse - 2008 Honor Open Water Swimmer Born in Holland, Herman Willemse was always the swimmer to beat, the “rabbit” of the pack and the undisputed world’s greatest mar...

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Passages: Coak Matthews, Former Henderson State Swim Coach, 66

Former Henderson State swimming and diving head coach Coak Matthews passed away on Sunday at age 66. Matthews led the Red Wave for 39 years. He retired from coaching full-time in April. A certified master-level coach by CSCAA, Matthews coached more than 200 All-Americans, including four individual n...

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Passages: Chad Hundeby, ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer Dies at 50

Chad Hundeby,  2012 ISHOF Honor Open Water Swimmer, died suddenly on Saturday, June 12, 2021; He was just 50 years old.  His brother Coleman said he suffered an apparent heart attack. The Open Water and Marathon Swimming community is in shock over the death of Hundeby but he certainly leaves a spect...

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Passages: Lim Heng Chek, First Malaysian Olympic Swimmer, 85

Lim Heng Chek, a pioneering swimmer for Malaysia who was one of the nation’s first two Olympians in 1956, died on May 15. He was 85 years old. Lim, along with Fong Seow Hor, represented what was then the Federation of Malaya at the 1956 Games at the Melbourne Games. (The Federation of Malaya existed...

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Passages: Olympic Silver Medalist Georgy Prokopenko Dies at Age 84

Olympic silver medalist Georgy Prokopenko passed away Wednesday, May 5, 2021. He was a two-time Olympian for the Soviet Union at the 1960 and 1964 Olympic Games. Prokopenko won the silver medal in the 200-meter breaststroke at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, finishing behind Australia's Ian O'Brien, who...

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Passages: Suzanne Zimmerman, 1948 Olympic Silver Medalist, 95

Suzanne Zimmerman Edwards, who won a silver medal in the women’s 100 backstroke at the 1948 Olympics, died on March 14. She was 95 years of age. Zimmerman was born in Lake Grove, Oregon, in 1925. She attended West Linn High School and Willamette University. At age 15, she joined the Multnomah Athlet...

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Passages: 1956 Olympic Gold Medalist Ursula Happe Dies at Age 94

Passages: 1956 Olympic Gold Medalist Ursula Happe Dies at Age 94 ISHOF Honor Swimmer and 1956 Olympic gold medalist Ursula Happe of Germany passed away March 26, 2021 at the age of 94. In the decade of the 1950s, Germany had one female standout in international swimming. She was not only a great swi...

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Passages: 1976 Olympian Janis Hape Dowd Dies After Battle With Cancer

1976 Olympian Janis Hape Dowd passed away Sunday at her home in Charlotte, North Carolina after a battle with cancer. Janis Hape qualified to swim at the 1976 Olympics in the 200 breaststroke by virtue of her third-place finish at the 1976 Trials. At the Olympic Games in Montreal, she placed 25th in...

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Passages: Philippine Olympian Jacinto “Jack” Cayco, Dies at 96

Jacinto “Jack” Cayco, who represented the Philippines at the 1948 Olympics and won gold medals at the Asian Games, died Wednesday Feb. 17 at age 96. Philippine Swimming Inc. announced Cayco’s passing early Thursday. We are one with the swimming community as we mourn the passing of Mr. Jacinto S. Cay...

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Passages: Honor Masters Swimmer Burwell "Bumpy" Jones Dies at Age 87

2005 Honor Masters Swimmer Burwell "Bumpy" Jones passed away last week February 6, 2021 at the age of 87, his family confirmed in a Facebook post. Jones was inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame in 2005. There is a masters meet hosted in his name in Sarasota, Florida every ye...