Passages: Puerto Rico’s William “Bill” George Cody

By Greg Eggert, UANA Media Officer

PUERTO RICO, February 23. THE sport of swimming in Puerto Rico has suffered a great loss upon the death of one of its leaders with the passing of William George Cody. Bill, as he is referred to by all his friends, an electrical engineer by profession, started his participation in swimming as a parent. From the beginning, together with his wife Rose, he became an enthusiastic supporter, eventually serving in different positions in the administration of the sport including the Presidency of Puerto Rico Swimming Federation.

Bill's dedication and service to the sport extended beyond Puerto Rico as he became a member of the Executive Committee and Treasurer of the Central American and Caribbean Swimming Federation (CCCAN). In addition, he assisted his wife Rose in her responsibilities as Vice President of the FINA Masters Swimming Committee and in her role as the Chair of the UANA Technical Swimming Committee.

Bill and Rose attended the 2009 and the 2010 editions of the UANA Conference representing the CCCAN Federations at an important collaboration of aquatic leaders though tout the Americas. Bill will be sorely missed by all who follow the sport of swimming.

What they are saying about Bill Cody
In 1998, Puerto Rico Masters Swimmers traveled to Casablanca, Marruecos to participate in the FINA World Masters Swimming Championship. Mrs. Rose Cody as member of the FINA Masters Technical Committee traveled together with Bill and arrived some days before the championship start.

On arrival, they found a Puerto Rican swimmer that arrived without a place to stay until the rest of swimmers will arrive. Bill Cody did not know this swimmer before that day but without hesitation he and Rose offered the swimmer an opportunity to stay with them until the rest of the swimmers arrived.

Once I and the rest of the swimmers arrived Bill told us "there is this guy staying with us that did not have a room until you arrived. He is a nice guy and we used him to test the water temperature for the open water, but we are glad all of you arrived because he is driving us crazy".

Bill was not born in Puerto Rico, but he always defended our island, even better that many others.
José De Jesús, President
Federación Puertorriqueña de Natación

Ing. William (Bill) Cody was Treasurer of the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN) during the 12 years that I was a member of the Executive of that organization. Bill was an efficient and meticulous Treasurer who carried out his duties with expedience and accuracy using the skills developed from his engineering profession. More importantly, he carried out his duties with a human kindness that endeared him to everyone with whom he had contact.

He was easy of approach and always placed as paramount the development of the CCCAN. He will be remembered as one of the two father-like members on the CCCAN Executive. Bill would take new Members under his "wing", explain to them what was expected as a leader of our complex organization and be there for them in challenging situations – a TRUE Friend.

Bill will also be remembered as a dedicated Friend of Synchronized Swimming. His administrative contribution to that discipline was immense. While, for obvious reasons, he would not have come to that discipline as a practitioner, his devotion to it was un-equaled. Using his mathematical skills, he was well known throughout the aquatic world as its reliable scorer long before calculators and computers became the norm at these competitions.

As in most cases, the synchro competition fell between the swimming preliminaries and finals each day, one could not help but admire Bill's commitment that was evident by his spending virtually most of each day after day at the pool, always with a reading book to fill in the time when he was not on duty. Fittingly, one of the last positions he held was as a Member of the CCCAN Technical Synchronized Swimming Committee.

In addition to the above, the most indelible memory of Bill was that of Husband, Father and Grandfather. Bill and his wife Rose were inseparable at aquatic competitions, whether they were in the CCCAN Zone or internationally. His travels to international synchronized swimming competitions to support his wife Rose was demonstrative of the great love between two persons who had spent over fifty (50) years of marriage. Equally dear to Bill were his Grand-children and, from his boastings, he valued greatly the periods he was able to spend with them. To Bill – a loyal Husband, a dedicated Father and Grandfather and true Friend.

May He Rest In Peace.
Errol Clarke, President, Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (CCCAN)

I met Bill on my first visit to Puerto Rico at the 1979 Pan American Games and we immediately became good friends. Bill cheered for the New England Patriots, the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Bruins and the Boston Celtics. Bill was a New Englander through and through who loved all sports.

Most of all Bill loved Rose. Whenever we saw Rose at a Synchro event we always knew that Bill was close at hand. Bill of course made a great contribution to the life of CCCAN serving as Treasurer and overall money manager; such contributions are invaluable to organizations.

Carlie Jean and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner and evening with Bill and Rose during the UANA Pan American Junior Diving Championships in 2007; it was an evening we shall always remember.

The passing of Bill saddens us all and serves as a reminder to us all that we must cherish all our friendships. True wealth is not measured with gold but with the friendships we enjoy and share — Bill Cody was one of those special friends who has enriched our lives.
Union Americana de Natacion President Eldon Godfrey & Carlie Jean Godfrey

I am very saddened to learn of the passing of Bill Cody. He was a true gentlemen, soft-spoken and courteous, and a man who evoked trust and confidence in all who knew him. His dedication to our sport was unsurpassed, and he was always willing to take on the tough tasks that needed to be done without looking for recognition or attention. CCCAN benefited greatly from his wisdom, good judgment, and attention to detail. My condolences to Rose, who shared her wonderful husband with us for so many years of service and commitment.
Dale Neuburger, FINA Vice President of the Americas

I have been friends and colleagues with Bill and Rose Cody for 10 years since first being appointed to the FINA Masters Committee. While Rose was the actual Committee member we appreciated Bill's participation, and willingness to help out in all areas of the Masters Synchro. He would be on deck throughout the competition and take on any task asked of him. On a personal note I will miss his wit and special humour that was always accompanied by a smile. I know of Bill's commitment to aquatics in the Americas and it goes far beyond the work he did for Masters Synchro. My wife Claudine and Bill had a long standing joke about Claudine breaking Bill's camera the first time they hugged when meeting. Bill would be ever cautious in a joking manner any time Claudine approached. He was fun to be with and ever helpful when asked. He will be missed by his colleagues and friends on the FINA Masters Committee.
Ed Evelly, Chair, FINA Masters Committee

In 1993, I met Rose and Bill Cody. Rose and I became good working friends and she always put in a good word for me. The one outstanding thing I remember about Bill was how he was always a quiet trooper helping in anything possible without ever worrying about limelight. One thing that always impressed me about Bill was that he was always there to help!" Good person, good persons, great couple. I hope Rose does well now.
David E. Morrill, UANA Masters Technical Committee, Venezuela

Our thoughts and prayers are today with Rose Cody, whose husband Bill passed away this morning. Bill has been a pillar in the aquatics world for many years, serving many roles, including the position of CCCAN Treasurer through July 2010.

Soft spoken and reliable, Bill loved anything to do with aquatics and often supported Rose in her effort to develop CCCAN, UANA and World Synchronized Swimming.

Bill will be missed, but his love for the sport, his integrity and honesty will be the legacy that resounds within us for years to come. Rose, the prayers and thoughts of the Jamaican Swimming Fraternity are with you and your family.

Bill will be missed, but his love for the sport, his integrity and honesty will be the legacy that resounds within us for years to come. Rose, the prayers and thoughts of the Jamaican Swimming Fraternity are with you and your family.
Amateur Swimming Association of Jamaica

Bill Cody kept calm when everyone else would break down. We traveled to different parts of Europe, Central America, the USA and the Caribbean while I was a member Puerto Rico's National Team. Rose and Robin along with Bill always represented Puerto Rico with dignity and class. He understood the International Aquatics world with a deep presence and his sense of humor set him apart from everyone else. It was a pleasure to spend time with Bill during our UANA Conferences, CCCAN events and while enjoying a simple meal along with our multiple international friends.

"Wild Buffalo Bill Cody" will always be remembered with love. His knowledge will continue to spread among the aquatics world. Hundreds of Puerto Rican young men and women will always remember Bill as having a steady hand under pressure and making difficult moments more fun with his sense of humor and kind heart. Above all he was a great team leader, father, husband and friend. Gracias por todo Bill se te quiere inmensamente y ruego a Dios por ti, por Rose y por tu bella familia.
Abrazos y besos,
Fernando J Canales, UANA Technical Swimming Committee, Olympian from Puerto Rico

When we decide to comprehend the righteousness of the person that is no longer physically with us in our lives and in sports events, we should remember CCCAN' s economic situation when Ing. Orban Mendoza was elected President and asked Bill Cody to help him as Treasurer.

But Bill was not only outstanding in making the appropriate measures for the good of CCCAN,
but also with extremely jovial mood, with exemplary honesty and with human dignity that made us all that knew him better persons. We should all pay homage to him with showings of affection and admiration towards our friends.

It is a terrible loss, not only for those who knew him on a day to day basis at home, but he will be missed by the aquatic spots family in our region.

We will never know what reached further in Bill's life: his love for baseball or the endless swimming strokes he saw over generations of swimmers; but we do know that he will always be with us.

May he rest in Peace.
Tomás Haces Germán, Secretario Federación Cubana de Natación.

I would like to extend my condolences and also those of the 'Unsyncables,' to Rose, and all her family on their loss of Bill. Meeting them both first at Pan Ams in 1979, they have remained dear friends through all the years. I was delighted to find them involved in Masters synchro when we began attending Worlds in 1992. Bill was always there, helping and supporting Rose in every way, often spending long, long days at the scoring table.

All this in addition to his duties with UANA, CCCAN and the Puerto Rican Federation. It has been wonderful to meet and work with them every two years at the World Masters competitions. Several years ago, my daughter and I visited Puerto Rico. Bill became our personal driver/tour-guide as he and Rose shared some of their favorite places with us.

It is so difficult to say 'good-bye', but he and Rose have so enriched our lives. He will long be remembered.
Dawn Bean and the 'Unsyncables', Past President United States Synchronized Swimming

Last week our UANA family lost a truly unselfish volunteer, Bill Cody. Those who met Bill at a Masters meet or an synchronized swimming event well know the simple pleasure that he took in standing by the side of his beloved wife Rose on the pool deck of almost any venue.

Bill gave more than he took, he smiled more than he complained, and he took on assignments so that others would not have to bear that burden.

We will miss seeing Bill at the next CCCAN championships. We will be without him at this year's Pan American Games. We will surely realize the absence of his quiet presences at our next UANA Congress.

We mourn the loss of our dear friend, and we share our thoughts and prayers with the woman that Bill dedicated his adult life to supporting, Rose.
Gregory D. Eggert, Media Officer, Union Americana de Natacion