By Kyle Sagendorph//USA Swimming Communications Intern | Wednesday, February 27, 2019
International Swimming Hall of Fame historian and long-time employee, Robert “Bob” Duenkel has passed away at the age of 74.
Introduced to the sport at an early age, Duenkel became a tremendous ambassador for the sport of swimming over the years and has left a great legacy both in and out of the pool.
Duenkel’s passion for swimming began at the YMCA of New Jersey, and stuck with him through high school, where he became a state record holder in 1960. He furthered his education and swimming career at Kansas State University, where he went on to become a many-time record holder and multi-award winner in swimming.
After his career in the pool was over, Duenkel turned his attention to coaching, where his wisdom was recognized when he was named the National Junior College Swimming Coach of the year in 1978. Ten years later, Duenkel led the United States to victory in the FINA Open Water World Cup. He would later go on to serve on the Board of Directors for both the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.
His personality and calming approach helped guide the IMSHOF while bringing organizational growth as well. Duenkel’s passion for swimming and impacting others has left an incredible mark on the sport.
Duenkel’s memorial service is set for Friday, March 29 at 4 p.m. ET at St. Coleman’s Church in Pompano Beach, Florida.
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