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Legend of Paddling Chick Dermond Passes

Wednesday, May 13, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Chris Stec
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The ACA family has lost a friend, competitor, historian, and Legend of Paddling.  Russell "Chick" Dermond passed on Friday May 8th, 2015 from heart complications. 

Chick was raised in an ACA family. At one point in time he, his father, his mother, and his wife, were all 50-year members of the ACA. His early years were spent as a flatwater racer and began in the wooden "peanut," which was the predecessor of modern kayaks and C boats. A many-time national champion, Chick competed in the 1956 and 1960 Olympics and then attended again as Team Manager in 1972. After ending his career as an Olympic competitor, he turned to committee work. Chick served in a number of governing positions including the U.S. Olympic Committee, the ACA, Sugar Island, and Lake Sebago.

Many of you are aware of his dedication to the ACA and his exceptional knowledge of its history.  The Board of Directors and Staff always loved hearing his quick, fun loving humor and were constantly amazed at his extensive knowledge of all paddlesports as well as the ACA’s 136 year existence.

The ACA was an important part of Chick’s life and he liked for people to know about the organization. Two years ago Chick was bothered by the fact that the ACA had a new national headquarters in Fredericksburg, Virginia without any real signage out front.  Chick, without prompting, quietly handmade and delivered a beautiful 17’ wood sign in the shape of a canoe which weighs hundreds of pounds. The sign, like his presence is graceful, warm, and long lasting which reminds everyone to take good care of the organization.  Although he will be missed, he will always be remembered. 

A Memorial Service followed by lunch at the Church Hall will be held in his memory on Friday, May 22 at 11AM at the Emory United Methodist Church on 106 East Main Street in Hancock, NY.  

The family requests, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to the ACA’s Sugar Island in Chick's memory: www.americancanoe.org/donations/

You can also mail a check:

Sugar Island - Chick Dermond Memorial Fund

c/o ACA 

503 Sophia St. Suite 100

Fredericksburg, VA 22401

If anyone needs more information please call the ACA National Office (540-907-4460).


ACA Mission

Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling; stewardship support to help protect paddling environments; and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition, exploration and recreation.

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