USA Badminton

Richard van Praag Passes Away

Jan. 20, 2009, 5:19 p.m. (ET)

Long-time USBA member and player Richard van Praag passed away Oct. 1, 2008, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

He was born in Ashland, Oregon on July 22, 1929.  He grew up in Pasadena, California, where he became an eagle scout.  After graduating from Padadena City College in 1950, he was drafted into the army where he served two years stateside at Fort Ord in Monterey, California, and Fort Huachuca in Arizona.  Upon honorable discharge in 1952, he pursued his lifelong career as a buyer and purchasing agent in the electronic and aerospace industries. 

Throughout his life his passions included (first and foremost) over 50 years of competitive badminton, umpiring baseball from little league to semi-pro (including a Dodger exhibition game), fishing (salt and freshwater), over 40 years of working in the press box for USC football games, reveling, and spending time with family and gradnchildren.

He took up badminton in 1947 at Pasadena City College, playing tournaments with his fathe r(Jack), and played in his first US Championships in 1949.  As a member of the Pasadena Badminton Club for many years, he became friends with many of our former top players, and later joined the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club where he also helped coach in the junior program.  Along with several US open and closed championships, and the Mexico City Open, he participated in and won numerous awards in local and national senior events including the Senior Olympics.  He often noted how excited he was to watch and encourage younger players as they came up through the ranks and went on to become some of our best players. 

He was preceded in passing by his parents Jack and Helen, and his sister, Marion Jero of Colorado Springs.  He is also survived by his first wife, Carolyn of Seaside, Ca., his second wife, Marcia of Garden Grove, Ca., his daughter, Kathy Geier of Lafayette, Ca., a son John of Mission Hills, Ca., two stepchildren, and 9 grand and step-grandchildren.  He will be sorely missed by those who knew him including family, friends, co-players in the badminton community nationwide, as well as friends from Rolling Hills Covenant and Grace Community Churches.

provided by John van Praag

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