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.
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.”