TIM JECKO '59 PASSES AWAY
It is with great personal sadness that I report the death of Tim Jecko '59 who had been suffering from ALS over the past 18 months. Letters of condolence may be sent to Jo Ann Jecko, 3 Avery Court, Madison, NJ 07940. Telephone 973-966-8808.
There will be a memorial service at the Unitarian Church, 4 Waldron Ave., Summit, NJ 07901, (908-273-3245) on Saturday, January 29th at 11am. From New York City, it is possible to take a New Jersey Transit Line train from Penn station to Summit, NJ, approximately a 35 minute train ride. From the station it is a short walk to Main St. and the church is on the corner of Springfield Ave. and Waldren Ave.
Attached is an article which appeared in the YSA summer 2004 newsletter and here is a link to a small online article about Tim.
John S. Lapides '72
Yale Swimming Association
Tim Jecko Award Established
At the June YSA meeting during the Class of 1959's 45th reunion, a new annual award, a silver bowl, was established for the best male and female individual medley swimmers.
The award will be called the Tim Jecko Award: “Established in honor of Tim Jecko ’59 by the Class of 1959 upon the occasion of their 45th Reunion in 2004. This trophy is awarded annually to a member of each of the Men’s Team and the Women’s Team for outstanding performance in the individual medley.”
As the last team captain to serve under Coach Bob Kiphuth, Tim, who was diagnosed in August 2003 with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), was a member of the 1956 Olympic Team, and held many national championships and records in freestyle, butterfly and the individual medley.
Tim’s Yale roommate and long-time friend, Jerry Dolbey, arranged the award as a surprise. Tim received the first bowl in honor of Bob Kiphuth, whose dual meet record of over 526 wins and 12 losses has never been equaled. The presentation was a memorable event for all who attended.
Enough money has already been collected from 1959 classmates and friends of Tim in the swimming community to more than fund the annual awards. Gifts have been received even from members of rival teams, including Brown, Hawaii, Indiana, Ohio State and Oklahoma Universities.
It is Tim’s wish that further donations in his name should help to finance the design and construction of a world-class competitive swimming facility at Yale, to equal the prominence of Bob Kiphuth's Payne Whitney Gym pool of the early 1930s, which was 30-plus years ahead of its time.
Tim writes: “It is not news to any YSA members that Yale sorely needs an upgraded, state-of-the-art swimming and diving facility today to rise once again to national prominence, and to host world and national-caliber competitive events…It was the Exhibition Pool and the third-floor 50-meter pool that attracted swimmers from all over the world to train with Bob and to become undergraduates at Yale.”
Although Tim's ALS symptoms appeared almost two years ago, he still gets around with a cane and a walker and swims on a regular basis. "His freestyle stroke still looks the same as it did 45 years ago," said Jerry, who visited and swam with Tim recently.
Anne Thompson at the Yale Development Office is accepting contributions to the Tim Jecko Swimming Fund. Her address is Anne R. Thompson TC '99, Yale Development Officer, Reunion Giving, 265 Church Street, New Haven, CT 06510-7003, and her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org . Gifts may be designated to the “New Pool Fund at Yale in honor of Tim Jecko ‘59”.
John Lapides ’72, Editor.