Tuesday, April 26, 2016


FORT LAUDERDALE – Alice Kempthorne, a long-time volunteer for over forty years with the AAU, ISHOF and USA Swimming  at local, regional, national and international levels has passed away in hospice care, with her son Jim at her side, in Roswell, GA. She was 89 years old. 
            Alice started volunteering with the AAU in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1963 and with the formation of USA Swimming in 1977.  She attended every United States Aquatic Sports Convention from its inception through 2003.  Over the years she served as a National Championship official both on and off the pool deck as Clerk of Course, Turn Judge, Ready Room Supervisor and Administrator.  In 1993, United States Swimming presented her with the Kenneth J. Pettigrew Award for her untiring service and dedicated volunteerism as a meet official.
            She also worked with coaches and athletes, serving as team manager of National, International, World and Student Games Teams including trips to Germany, Romania, Russia, Columbia, Argentina, Great Britain, Mexico and Japan.  She served three times as the Olympic Festival head manager and in 1995 she was the assistant team leader of the Pan American Swimming Team that competed in Argentina.
            On the local level, Alice was a major figure of the Florida Gold Coast Swimming, LSC, for over 30 years.  She served as the Age Group Chairman, Registration and Membership Chairman, Records Chairman and the Official Verification Certification Chairman.  She served on the Finance, Planning and Officials Club Committees, as treasurer of Florida Gold Coast Swimming and was the Rule book editor.  For many years she was the first name that comes to mind when information or help was needed from an athlete or coach within the Florida.
            Alice and her husband Dick were founding members and volunteers with ISHOF since its inception in 1965. For over 33 years she has served the Dames, ISHOF's volunteer auxiliary women's group, as either president, secretary, or treasurer, and member. Among her many contributions were helping to organize the first of the YMCA Nationals to be held at the Hall of Fame pool in the early 1970s and serving as secretary on the ISHOF Executive Committee for many years. She received the ISHOF Grand Dame award in 1998.
            “Alice was a friend to athletes and coaches alike,” says Sherill Nelson. “She was a very special person, always happy and positive and we are all going to miss her.”
            “She was an awesome volunteer for USA Swimming, says Guy Edson of ASCA. “She gave her time and her life to our sport.”

            “Alice Kempthorne believed greatly in the mission and value of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and was instrumental in implementation of the Swim-A-Thon, serving as SAT chair at its inception,” recalled Bob Duenkel, ISHOF’s Curator Emeritus.  “Neither the ISHOF nor Swim-A-Thon would have been successful without her.”


  1. RIP Auntie Alice. We will miss you dearly. You did so much for so many for so long. You are one of a kind with an infectious laugh that could make us all join you.

  2. Aunt Alice! You were loved and admired and were a great representative for AAU, USS, and USA Swimming! You made it through all of the transitions of our sport and were the jewel of them all! RIP. Chuck Knoles