NCAAHPERD remembers the passing of members, friends, colleagues, and others within the profession during the past year.
Dr. LeRoy T. Walker (June 14, 1918 – April 23, 2012) was a legendary track coach and the first black person to head the U.S. Olympic Committee. Dr. Walker passed away on Monday, April 23, 2012 in Durham, NC. He was 93.
From 1977 to 1978, Dr. Walker served as president of what is now the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). He received an AAHPERD Honor Award in 1972, the Luther Halsey Gulick Medal in 1982, and the Charles D. Henry Award in 1985.
An amazing leader and person, Dr. Walker had a long life of significant contributions in many venues. As an academic, he was the first African-American to earn a PhD in biomechanics, he was the chair of the department of physical education and recreation at North Carolina Central University, and served as NCCU's chancellor from 1983-1986. Among his lesser known accomplishments is his leadership in integrating NCAAHPERD and AAHPERD.
Dr. Walker was truly a legendary leader!
Mary Katherine "Marti" Capaforte (December 2, 1970 - June 17, 2012) passed away after waging a courageous battle against melanoma. Marti taught physical education at Lufkin Road Middle School since its opening in 1999. Serving as the physical education department chair, it was Marti's vision and drive that led to the establishment of Lufkin Road's state-of-the art middle school wellness center and an award winning physical education program.
Less than a month before her passing, the staff and students of Lufkin Middle organized school-wide cancer prevention and education event, which they called “Hope Games”. In the weeks leading up to the Hope Games, teachers educated students about cancer prevention, and students wrote the names of people they knew who were affected by cancer on paper to hang in their classrooms. In order to honor Marti, students and staff wore purple shirts each Monday for “Marti Mondays” with Capaforte’s favorite phrase, “Have a great day on purpose!” on the back.
Kenneth B.”Keg” Wheeler (May 19, 1921 - September 10, 2012), the founder of a modern-day school physical education program and an outdoor education program that served a generation of Henderson County kids, died Monday, September 10, 2012 at age 91.
Keg served as the director of elementary physical education for Henderson County Schools from 1965 until his retirement in 1986. Keg was a pioneer in creating inexpensive elementary physical education, adapted physical education, and outdoor-education programs that became state and national models. After retirement, Keg spent 10 more years running a fifth grade program physical education program that included activities like a "nature relay," where kids had to find a tulip in a pile of leaves.
Dr. Richard Albert Lauffer (April 28, 1926 - November 27, 2012) spent 40 years as a coach, professor and administrator in physical education in high schools and universities throughout North Carolina and New Jersey. He received an undergraduate degree from Duke University, a Master's degree from UNC Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland. He is fondly remembered as an administrator and professor of physical education at Campbell University, East Carolina University and North Carolina State University. Dr. Lauffer retired from NC State in 1988, where he is remembered for the construction of the student activity center and the installation of its rock climbing wall.
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