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Bev LaVeck-McCall, 1936-2011

U.S. racewalking lost a major contributor as an athlete, official, and records keeper with the tragic loss of Bev McCall on February 22nd in an auto accident. Bev was the mainstay of the Pacific Pacers Racewalk Club and held 18 USATF Masters Records at the time of her death. She won numerous national and international masters titles and was a feared competitor. She encouraged and mentored many racewalkers and officials, organized events, served in many capacities as a racewalk judge and track and field official, maintained USATF racewalk record lists, published a monthly newsletter, all while raising a family and serving as a Red Cross Disaster Victim Counselor. Northwest and U.S. racewalking will miss her presence and we all mourn her loss.

Bev McCall Bev's fierce determination was a part of her racing success. Seattle 10K, June 2004.

 

Here are Bev's US Masters Records with distance in Kilometers, age group, time, place, and date.

Kilometers - Road

5

70-74

32:33

Kingsport, TN

2006-Oct-07

10

60-64

59:30

Eugene, OR

1996-Aug-23

15

65-69

1:37:59

Sacramento, CA

2002-May-05

20

60-64

2:09:35

Sacramento, CA

1998-Apr-05

20

65-69

2:12:22

Sacramento, CA

2002-May-05

25

55-59

2:38:41

Palo Alto, CA

1994-Mar-13

25

60-64

2:43:43

Sacramento, CA

1998-Apr-05

30

60-64

3:24:08

Palo Alto, CA

1998-Feb-08

Kilometers - Track

3

55-59

16:40.3

Seattle, WA

1994-Mar-19

3

60-64

16:51.1

Seattle, WA

1996-May-11

5

60-64

28:49.35

Eugene, OR

1997-Jun-28

5

65-69

29:29.72

Brisbane, AU

2001-Jul-05

10

60-64

59:26.1

Seattle, WA

2000-Apr-22

10

65-69

1:00:33.0

Seattle, WA

2001-Apr-22

10

70-74

1:07:39.1

Seattle, WA

2006-Apr-22

50

45-49

5:31:54.0

Arlington, VA

1983-Nov-05

100

45-49

11:58:20.0

Arlington, VA

1983-Nov-05

Hour

55-59

10,282 m

Edmonds, WA

1993-Nov-20

Here is the "official obituary" from the Mazama newspaper.

Beverly Aleta McCall, 74, a longtime resident of Mazama and Seattle, rests in Christ due to a tragic automobile accident on Feb. 22, 2011, near Leavenworth.

Bev was born on April 22, 1936, to Norman and Betty (Dudley) Beers at Seattle, where she graduated from West Seattle High School. She received a bachelor’s in psychology from Mills College in Oakland, Calif., continuing on to receive her master’s and doctorate in psychology from the University of Washington. She was employed as a school psychologist by the Edmonds School District and later as a professor of psychology at the University of Washington with the former CDMRC. She was known for her extensive research into child development concerns.

In the 1970s, Bev got caught up in the running boom. Injuries guided her into race walking, where she excelled in ultra-distance competitions with the Pacific Pacers race-walking group. Recently, Bev still held 15 master’s race-walking records, national and international, for distances from 3K to 50K. In 1996, she was inducted into the USA Master’s Track and Field Hall of Fame. Bev enjoyed teaching others how to race walk and promoting a healthy lifestyle. She enjoyed the friendships she made through race walking.

On April 5, 2006, Beverly married Mac McCall at Reno, Nev., and the couple spent their time between Mazama and Seattle.  Bev was a talented musician, and played piano and mandolin for different groups in Seattle and the Methow Valley. She was the pianist for the Mazama Community Church, where she was an active member.

Bev is survived by her husband, Mac McCall, of Mazama; daughters from her first marriage, Amy Vander Veer of Seattle and Jillian Garza of Selah; daughters from her second marriage, Julie LaVeck of Saratoga, Calif., and Moira LaVeck of Montgomery Village, Md.; and 11 grandchildren: Santos, Marisol, Melanie, Willem, Oliver, Megan, Matt, Jessica, Gabe, Eli, and Jacob. She was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband, Bob Vander Veer, of Hawaii; and her second husband, Dr. Gerald D. LaVeck of Seattle.

A memorial service of commemoration to celebrate the life of Beverly Aleta McCall will be held on Saturday, March 19, at 2 p.m. at the Mazama Community Church. Memorial services in Seattle will be announced later.

Below is a eulogy I delivered at Bev's memorial mass:

I’m Stan Chraminski, current President of the Pacific Pacers racewalk club, but really I was just Bev’s helper, as she was the mainstay of the Pacers, and racewalking in the northwest. I’d like to say a few words from my perspective of knowing Bev through racewalking. Racewalking is a small community, perhaps several thousand in the entire US, and everyone knows each other, and I’ve been asked by many from around the country to pass along their condolences and sorrow to Bev’s northwest family and friends.

I first met Bev in 1988 when my wife and I, like Bev, switched from running to racewalking due to running injuries. If you were a racewalker in Seattle, you quickly knew who was the hub of the local racewalk community. Bev ran the Pacific Pacers racewalk club. She organized the events, publicized the events and results in the club newsletter, took care of memberships, the accounting, attended track and field meetings and events, procured judges and officials for races, brought the sandwiches and cake for post race snacks, and whatever else was needed to keep the organization and events going.

All Bev’s work for racewalking would have been a full time job for most normal people but Bev integrated all this around her family, and work, and by the way, training for competition that led to record setting performances and victories. Bev was also the National Masters verifier and records keeper for racewalk records and I guess she wanted to make the job easier by having her own name in the record books so many times. At latest count, she holds 18 track and road racewalk records, from 3K to 100K. I know there may be a few other distance records out there in her name that didn’t make the official lists. Some of these performances came during National and International Masters championships, which Bev attended regularly. I know she has numerous medals at these events, the total number of which we may never know as I doubt even she kept that close a track as she was always looking forward to the next event.

In her most recent high level event, just a year ago, in March 2010, in Kamloops,Canada, at the World Indoor Masters Championships she took first place in the 10K and 3K racewalks in the 70-74 division in very close races, won by just seconds over the 2nd and 3rd competitors who were both right on her heels. You didn’t want to be in a close race with Bev, as she was a fierce competitor and as calm and gracious a person as she was outside competition, she was the opposite on the track. In her most recent appearance at the US National Masters championships in Spokane, WA, in 2008, Bev won both the 5K and 10K racewalks. Another remarkable thing is that Bev was able to sustain a high level of performance for almost 30 years, her records ranging from 1983 to 2007. Her times in the past decade are times I myself would be proud to walk in those age groups.

After a race, as most of us were looking forward to going home, eating breakfast, and relaxing, often Bev was already at another event, officiating, or keeping time, or handing out medals. When Bev wasn’t racing herself, she usually filled the role of racewalk judge, where she also was qualified up to international levels. 

For her accomplishments as an athlete and contributor to the sport, Bev was inducted into the National Masters hall of fame in 1996.

The past few years, as Bev lived mainly in Mazama, I tried to help out more so took on the local Seattle role for the Pacific Pacers by picking up the activities like our monthly Green Lake races and clinics, attending the Pacific Northwest Track and Field association meetings, and creating a Website to help us better communicate events and results. Still, Bev did all the behind the scenes work of setting up events, publishing our monthly newsletter, maintaining membership lists, and other activities needed to keep us a viable club. It was who she was. If something needed doing, she did it.

If there are pearly gates up there somewhere waiting for us, I know the job Bev will have. She’ll be standing by the gate, yellow judges paddle in hand. For those of us who should know better, she’ll wave the paddle to tell us to do better. For those who don’t know better, she’ll quietly pull them aside and instruct and coach them, until they improve, and pass the entry requirements.

Bev, the red disqualification paddle pulled you from our competition too soon, our races aren’t over yet. We still need you by our side. Your departure leaves a large, gaping crater in the center of Northwest racewalking. I know I’ll miss my mentor, my inspiration, my friend. We all miss you already, every day.