Stan Pocock’s accomplishments in the rowing world abound. There is evidence of his handiwork across the country, from fiberglass racing shells (1956) to Olympic gold medals (1956 and 1960) to oarlock spacers (1981). Stan did more than just leave a path of amazing innovations and objects; he left an indelible mark on all the athletes he coached, the men and women he worked with, and the young athletes he inspired. To many, he was a mentor, a coach, a craftsman, and a legend.
To us, at the George Pocock Rowing Foundation, he was a visionary and a philanthropist who gave everything he accomplished back to the rowing community.Before he ended his boat making career, Stan became one of the founders of the George Pocock Rowing Foundation and helped nurture it into existence. Ten years later after working hard to garner support and funding, he with several close friends, completed construction of the George Pocock Memorial Rowing Center.
A humble man by nature, Stan was not always comfortable with the Pocock name being so prominent and public in the Foundation and the Memorial Rowing Center. However much he disregarded praise and fame, he was liberal with encouragement and inspiration to others. In the last several years, Stan could be seen often around the boathouse. He gave speeches at junior banquets, celebrated student-athlete awards, shook hands with the young men and women of the Center, and smiled as he reminisced with the Ancient Mariners Rowing Club.
It gave Stan great joy to see so many young people learn to row and thrive in the environment of the boathouse. The vision for the Pocock Rowing Center was blossoming as Stan lived and it shall live on. “Now, my earnest desire is that the quality of the eventual product of this center – the community-oriented rowing projects that we envision – will be known and celebrated for generations to come.”
Today, as we think about the amazing man that Stan Pocock was, our hearts are both saddened and uplifted in his memory. Stan made sure that the very soul of this sport would carry on past his own lifetime. And now, ever with his spirit and guidance, we are seeking to carry that out.
In the final pages of his memoirs, Stan describes one of the most treasured rows of his career and in the same breath expresses his desire to pass on those amazing experiences: “I knew that I had just experienced something that might never happen again. I had lost myself and, in the process, had truly found myself. I had had a fleeting glimpse of the divine… I wanted people who rowed for me, at least once, to have the thrill of that one moment.”
Stan is survived by his wife of 22 years, Suzanne Pocock; his sister and brother-in-law, Patty and Ed VanMason; his daughter and son-in-law, Sue and Chuck Saul; two step children and spouses, Lynne and Larry Chun, and Robert and Nancy Graves. Stan is also survived by seven grandchildren: Becca, Krystan, Chip, Sarah, Elizabeth, Brannen, and Ryan. He is predeceased by his first wife, Lois Watne Pocock and sons Christopher and Gregory.
Please join us as we celebrate the life of this wonderful man, not only for his great accomplishments and deeds, but for who he was and the vision and sincerity he brought to this sport. The Stanley Richard Pocock Memorial Celebration will occur on Saturday, January 3rd, 2015. The family asks that memorial gifts be directed to the George Pocock Rowing Foundation. More details on the Memorial Celebration and Stanley R. Pocock Memorial Row are forthcoming.
If you would like to make a donation to the George Pocock Rowing Foundation in memory of Stan Pocock, click below. Be sure to indicate “In memory of Stan Pocock” in your donation. We will be sure to acknowledge your gift to the family.