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Field Hockey Icon Grace Robertson's Memory Will Last a Lifetime

March 10, 2021, 11:15 a.m. (ET)

Grace Robertson, age 90 of Philadelphia, passed away on March 3, 2021. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was the daughter of the late Stanley and Ethel Robertson (nee Divenger).

 

Grace was a pioneer, legend and dear friend of USA Field Hockey. Known to many as one of the “Golden Girls,” Grace’s love for the U.S. Women’s National Team and USA Field Hockey was unmatched.  She traveled the world with Betty Shellenberger and the other Golden Girls supporting and cheering on the USWNT, and committed her life to the game and served in various roles within the organization.

 

“Grace was absolutely committed to field hockey and made a major impact in shaping our sport, serving in so many leadership roles in USA Field Hockey,” said Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey’s Executive Director. “She was an incredible supporter of our U.S. Women’s National Team and a huge advocate for all that is great in our game.”

 

From 1957 to 2005, Grace was the Chair of Girls Physical Education and Athletics at Northfield-Mount Hermon School in Mount Hermon, Mass. She obtained her master’s degree in physical education from Smith College.

 

Through her leadership and passion for women’s athletics, she helped open opportunities for all women to excel in sports. Grace was a four-time President of USA Field Hockey and was a Hall of Fame Honorary Member inductee of the USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame in 1971.

 

Coach, player, teacher, friend; Grace held many roles in her life for which she will be remembered.

 

“Grace was synonymous with USA Field Hockey,” stated Judith Davidson, former President of USA Field Hockey. “More than taking an administrative role, Grace universally welcomed all women to USA Field Hockey, from beginner to national team player. She always had a welcoming smile for any girl carrying a stick.”

 

A New Englander at heart, she not only spent most of her life in Massachusetts, but was a lifelong Boston Red Sox Fan.

 

As 1984 Olympic Bronze medalist Diane Moyer shared, "May her legacy live on. She led the way for so many women in the sport of field hockey and women's athletics in general."

 

A Memorial Service and Interment will be held on Thursday, March 11, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Montrose Cemetery, 8504 West Chester Pike, Upper Darby, Pa.

 

The Service will be live streamed and can be viewed by clicking here.

 

“Grace was a collection of wonders - she was tremendously kind and yet a fighter, she was unassuming and a giant, the person who never needed or wanted credit but who always took great pride in the quality of her work,” expressed Steve Jennings, 1996 Olympian. “One always felt Grace’s support and her pride in all aspects of USA Field Hockey even though so many of us never fully understood how much of the road we could travel was paved by people like her. She was a diamond and will be missed.”

 

A celebration of life service for both Grace and Betty Shellenberger, who passed away in December 2019, will be held in conjunction with USA Field Hockey’s 100th Anniversary and Hall of Fame event in 2022.

 


The Global Hockey Community Pays Tribute to Grace Robertson

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) is saddened to have learnt of the recent passing away of Grace Robertson (USA), former President of USA Field Hockey, Hall of Fame Honorary Member, PAHF Board Member and Member of the International Federation of Women's Hockey Associations (IFWHA) Council.

 In a condolence letter sent to USA Field Hockey, FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra and FIH CEO Thierry Weil wrote: “Ms Grace Robertson will be remembered as a very committed member of the global hockey community, who did a lot for future generations.”

PAHF President Alberto Coco Budeisky said: “When I started at PAHF, I remember very well how important it was for Grace to involve new members, like me, in all projects. She was so helpful and welcoming! Her dedication to hockey was remarkable.”

“Grace was absolutely committed to field hockey and made a major impact in shaping our sport, serving in so many leadership roles in USA Field Hockey,” said Simon Hoskins, USA Field Hockey’s Executive Director.