Tuesday, December 9, 2008

With Great Sadness

Al Minturn ~ Passed Away 12/07/08

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of one of the best officials and human beings that our sport has ever known.

Al Minturn died peacefully in his sleep during the last night of the USATF Annual Meeting in Reno, Nevada on December 7, 2008 doing one of the things he loved—working to enhance and expand the officiating that makes participation in our sport possible for hundreds of thousands of track & field athletes.

Al was a friend and mentor to all officials and respected by coaches, meet directors and athletes alike. He always made everyone feel welcome and appreciated. At age 72, Al was still one of our most active and energetic USATF officials and starters in Southern California. He was Vice-Chair of Training for the Southern California USATF Officials Committee, one of the Committee’s most important positions. He also traveled to officiate track meets all over the country—most recently to the 2008 Penn Relays and U.S. Olympic Trials.

Al worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District for most of his adult life—mostly in the area of student services. In 1989, he received the Distinguished Leadership in Physical Education Award from NASPE, the National Association for Sport & Physcal Education, for the after-school sport and fitness programming he created for the LAUSD.

In 1997, Al was recognized by CAHPERD (the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance) with the Verne Landreth Award, which is presented for “exemplifying the highest achievement in service, research, teaching, or administration and exhibiting outstanding leadership in their profession.”

After retiring as the head of Youth Services (after school sports programs) for the Los Angeles Unified School District, Al continued to serve our sport as an active AAU, TAC and USATF official.

In 2002, Al received the Andy & Mary Bakjian Award for excellence in officiating that is presented by the Mt. SAC Relays. More recently, the Al Minturn Humanitarian Award was established in honor of his being the first program director for LA’s BEST. LA's BEST is a division of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) that takes responsibility for training and supporting a staff of dedicated LAUSD after-school employees. The Al Minturn Award recognizes individuals who have instilled in students the value of public service and making a difference in their communities.

At his death, Al was organizing the LA City Schools Cross Country program, training new track starters for the California Track Starters Association and actively training all of the Southern California track officials as our Southern California Association USATF Vice Chair for Training. His passion was to improve the quality of officials in our sport, and his educational background, vast experience, modesty, and outstanding people skills made him very good at it.

Al was an active member of the Pacific Association and officiated in that Association as well as our own Association. He also officiated at the Penn Relays; Texas Relays; the USATF National Open, Junior, Junior Olympic and Masters Championships; NCAA Division I and II National Championships, the Olympic Trials and international meets in Europe.

Al Minturn was a great man. As an educator, administrator, and official, he made a difference in the lives for an untold number of students and track & field athletes over the past 50-years. He was also a wonderful person and a true gentleman. He will be sorely missed by all of us.

A memorial for Al Minturn will be held on Saturday, January 3rd, 2009 at 1:00pm. The location will be in the Chapel of the Green View Hill Mortuary at 27501 S. Western Avenue in Rancho Palos Verdes. The phone number is: 310-831-0311.

The family of Al Minturn has requested, instead of flowers, donations in Al’s name can be sent:
USATF-So Cal Officials
c/o Martin Olson, Treasurer
1527 Mirasol Drive
San Marino, CA 91108
Phone: 626-292-1526

Cards may be sent to the family:
Mrs. Ruth Minturn – Kim
19172 Red Bluff Drive
Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679