Commodore Thomas A. Lothian, 1928 – 2015
It is with sincere regret that I inform you of the death on May 14th of Thomas A. Lothian. Between the time he joined our Yacht Club in 1964 and his retirement from committee work more than 40 years later, Tom inspired us as a volunteer, as Commodore, and as a member whose leadership within the Lake Geneva Yacht Club and the Geneva Lake Sailing School affected us all. We have lost an important figure in our history and today, as we remember him, we are reminded of our loss when Tom’s wife Carol Ann died in 2006 after many years as a member of the Race Committee and more than two decades as Executive Secretary. We are grateful for their commitment, and we extend our sympathy to their sons Tom and Jack and their families.
Tom Lothian had been a member of the faculty at the University of Illinois at Chicago and, in 2010, retired after eight years as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly.
Tom and Carol Ann sailed a Comet in Ohio before joining our club. Initially, Tom raced with Michael Sherin in their Class E Partner-ship, then sailed in Class C for many years. Tom was Chief Judge in 1969, and in the decades that followed served on the House Committee (Chair), Race Committee (Chair, Principal Race Officer), Judges Committee (Senior Judge), Budget and Finance Committee, Membership Committee, and as Chief Scorer. He was LGYC Secretary in 1971. Within the Inland Lake Yachting Association he was Race Officer and Associate Judge.
Tom was elected Commodore in August 1973 and served for two terms—a period highlighted by the celebration of our centennial in 1974, the 100th running of the Sheridan Prize race, the publication of our history, and our tenth hosting of the ILYA Annual Regatta. He was a Sheridan Prize Trustee during his years as Commodore and a member of the Board of Directors from 1978 to 1983 and in 1990 and 1991. At the Sailing School, he was Treasurer and a Director for many years.
In recognition of his outstanding service, Tom Lothian received the Marie Kramp Award in 1983. In 1990, he and Mike Sherin received the Marie Kramp Award together for their major contribution, starting in 1989, when they teamed up as what became known as the T & M Construction Company and helped prepare the newly acquired property of the Geneva Lake Boat Company for Sailing School and Yacht Club use. In appreciation, the 1991 yearbook was dedicated to them both.
In his message to the membership in the Yacht Club’s centennial book, Tom Lothian referred to our club as “an accumulation of the efforts of its members.” He saluted the Race Committees and Judges who ensure good racing, the donors of trophies, the “less conspicuous members” who volunteer for work parties, and the officers of the ten previous decades who “held the stewardship and set the course for the Yacht Club.” We join together today to honor and thank Tom for his stewardship as Commodore and for the role he played in setting our course.
F. Terrence Blanchard
Friday, May 22: Visitation from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Toynton Funeral Home, 328 Kenosha Street, Walworth, Wisconsin. Saturday, May 23: Visitation at 10:00 am, services at 11 am, United Church of Christ, 46 Stam Street, Williams Bay, Wisconsin
In Memoriam: Robert Edward Pegel, 1927 – 2015
It is with a great sense of loss that I inform you of the death on March 5 of Robert E. Pegel, Race Officer Emeritus. Bob, who was Member Number Two in our membership chronology, was a tireless and committed volunteer who served our Yacht Club in many ways over the past 60 years. Please join me in extending heartfelt sympathies to his wife, Jane Wiswell Pegel, and their daughter, Susan.
Bob Pegel’s interest in building and sailing boats began at a Boy Scout camp in Michigan and developed further at Columbia Yacht Club then later at Chicago Yacht Club, where he raced in a variety of one-design classes and offshore boats. He was a partner in Kenneth A. Nelson Sailmakers in Chicago, and after moving to Williams Bay in 1971, he and Jane opened their business, Sailing Specialists.
Bob joined LGYC in 1955, initially competing in Class C, then Class E, and in the 1960s and 1970s he and Jane compiled a record that included ten season championships for the Commodore Gordon Bartels Perpetual Trophy and multiple wins of most of the other Class E trophies. In 1965, he won the A. F. Gartz Jr. Memorial Trophy and the H. R. Hough Trophy for permanent possession, later re-donating them as perpetual trophies to the Yacht Club where they remain active today. In 1967, the Pegels won the Class E Blue Chip Regatta.
Bob’s Yacht Club service includes decades of work on the Regatta Committee, the Race Committee, and the Judges Committee; as Principal Race Officer; and as Associate, Senior, and Chief Judge. He also served on the Scoring Committee; the House Committee; and the later House, Grounds, and Waterfront Committee. From 1996 until his retirement in 2014, he was the club’s Associate Chief Race Officer for Equipment. He was also a member and chair of the Trophy Committee and the History and Archives Committee.
Bob Pegel received all of the Lake Geneva Yacht Club’s awards for outstanding service: the Dr. and Mrs. Will F. Lyon Trophy for his Race Committee work (which he won in 1968, 1977, 1996, and 2001), the Sherman Trophy (2009), and the Marie Kramp Award (2014). In 1998, LGYC member Wendell Sherry donated the Robert E. Pegel Perpetual Trophy to the Yacht Club in recognition of Bob’s support and dedication to Laser sailing on Geneva Lake.
Bob served as president of the Geneva Lake Sailing School (1969-1971, 1981-1983) and for two decades on its Board of Directors. For many years, he was the Inland Lake Yachting Association’s delegate to the North American Yacht Racing Union later the United States Yachting Racing Union, also serving as chair of the USYRU and National Championship Events Committee, as a member of the Class Committee, as Associate Appeals Committee member, as chair of the Race Management Committee, and as Race Officer and Judge. In 2003, he received the ILYA’s Bilge Puller’s Cannon “to recognize an outstanding volunteer from the ILYA’s race management corps.”
At the national level, Bob was a USYRU and US Sailing Association Senior Race Officer, a Certified Judge, and a past member of the Board. In 2007 the US Sailing Judges Committee awarded him the title of Judge Emeritus “in recognition of long and distinguished service to the Judges Program, to race management, and to the sport.”
For many years Bob was a member of the Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation Appeals Committee.
Bob Pegel served as Commodore of the Northwestern Ice Yachting Association Championship, President of the International Skeeter Association, Commodore of the Renegade Class, Race Committee chair for many DN Class events, and was a founding member of the National Iceboat Authority. His iceboating triumphs include winning the Northwestern Ice Yachting Association (A Skeeter) and the International Skeeter Association (C Skeeter) championship titles.
Needless to say, Bob was an extremely important part of our Yacht. He has built a legacy that will not be forgotten by those who knew him and those generations to come. He will be missed.
A memorial service will be held on March 28, 2015. We will provide further information as it is available.
F Terrence Blanchard