Passages: Kieth Pike, Southern California Swimming Official, 84

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Kieth Pike, who’s served as a swimming official in Southern California for more than half a century, died on July 19.

Pike started officiating high school meets in 1962 and continued until 2017, a 56-season tenure. The Westminster, Calif., resident worked CIF Southern Section swimming championships, USA Swimming meets and high school water polo games. He served as a board member of the Southern California Aquatics Federation and was awarded the Southern California Swimming’s Ed Ruth Excellence in Officiating Award in 2017.

“I respected him every time I had him on deck,” veteran official Richard Davis told the Orange County Register. “I knew the deck was covered.”

“Kieth was one of our best officials,” referee John Montrella said.

Pike attended Long Beach Jordan High School, where he swam and played water polo. He served in the United States Air Force from 1956-62, then began working at Millikan High’s indoor pool in Long Beach as a pool attendant/lifeguard. He met his wife of 35 years, Jo Ann, at the pool.

“He enjoyed (officiating) because he was there for the students and the athletes,” Jo Ann said.

“His zest for life and laughter were contagious and irresistible,” his family wrote in a tribute. “He was silly and loud, dedicated and strong, dynamic and deep. … Kieth’s voice will always be with us, cracking jokes, brightening our days and urging us to be better.”

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