Synchro Pioneer June Taylor Gregory Passes Away

July 20, 2013, 12 a.m. (ET)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. The International Swimming Hall of Fame has announced the death of Hall of Famer June Taylor Gregory, a synchronized swimming pioneer.

Although Gregory was Canadian, she was the first U.S. National Solo Champion, winning the title the first time solo was included on the program at the 1950 National Championships. She won the U.S. National Indoor title four times, three times representing Kia Ora Club of the University of Western Ontario and in 1953 representing the Hollywood Athletic Club, where she had moved with her coach Lillian “Billie” MacKellar.

Gregory was one the first two first-inductees into the U.S. Synchronized Swimming Hall of Fame in 1961 (then the Helm's Hall of Fame). Later, she was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as a Pioneer synchronized swimmer from Canada in 1991.

Gregory had been both a Canadian solo and duet champion (with her sister Gayle). They were the duet demonstrators at the first Pan American Games (1951) in Buenos Aires, which led to the adoption of the sport by FINA for international competition at the II Pan American Games in Mexico City in 1955.

While in the U.S., Gregory and her coach MacKellar traveled the country giving clinics and promoting the sport. She was the featured swimmer in an early educational film distributed through U.S. schools in the early 1950s. Subsequently, she was the featured swimmer in the 1955 film produced by Helen Cardan called “Synchronized Swimming Stunts," which included underwater shots of the action.

She will long be remembered by those who saw her graceful performances and by all the athletes when she competed and demonstrated to help the sport develop in those early days.  She was a most gracious champion and an inspiration to everyone who saw and met her.


JUNE DARLING GREGORY (nee Taylor) died peacefully on June 27, 2013, surrounded by family, three days before her 85th birthday. She will be very much missed by her husband, John, of 57 years, her children Lesley (Colin Richards), Charlotte (Chad Erickson) and Taylor, her grandchildren Gabriel Richards, Tara and Neil Gregory, as well as her large extended family and friends.