Robert Lee Golay

May 31, 1927 - November 27, 2017

Robert Lee Golay Obit.jpg

Robert Lee Golay, 90, passed away peacefully, Monday, Nov 27, 2017, in the hospital surrounded by his family.  He was born May 31, 1927, in San Francisco, CA, the son of Howard and Inez Golay.


Robert was a graduate of the University of Arizona where he earned a BS Degree in Education.  Additionally, he completed many YMCA certification courses.  He was also a Veteran of the Korean Conflict.  


His YMCA career began in the Downtown Los Angeles YMCA where he first learned to swim as a kid, and later went on to become the Assistant Physical Education Director.   He became the Director of Health and Physical Education for the aquatic programs at both the Tucson YMCA and the YMCA in La Canada, CA, as well as a recognized swimming and diving coach.  In 1969 he became the Executive Director of the Downey YMCA.  He retired in 1991 after 42 years of service with the YMCA.  


Robert was awarded many honors over the years.  He was a Roberts-Gulick Memorial Award recipient and he received an award from the National YMCA for distinguished service to YMCA Aquatics.  He was named “Physical Education Director of the Year” by the Pacific Southwest Area YMCA’s and was awarded “Director of Physical Education” by Physical Education Society of North America.  One of his biggest honors happened in 1995 when he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Ft Lauderdale, FL for the Joseph G. Rogers Award.


Robert is survived by his wife, Mary.  They were married for 52 years.  He is also survived by his children, Lori (Eric) and Lani, 4 grandchildren Ryder, Riley, Madison and Lilliana, and cousins Donald Latimore and Carolyn Streety.  He was also preceded in death by his parents.


There will be a viewing on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at Rose Hills in Whittier, from 4-8pm.  A Memorial Service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Downey on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 1:00 pm.  Memorials to either the Los Angeles YMCA or the Disabled American Veterans Association are appreciated.