Richard (Dick) McClure 1935-2024

Obituary: Remembering Dick McClure


It is with profound sadness that Rowing Canada Aviron mourns the passing of Richard (Dick) McClure, a builder in the rowing community, who passed away on May 10, 2024 at the age of 89. Dick dedicated over seven decades of his life to the sport of rowing, leaving an indelible mark on so many people across Canada.

Dick McClure grew up in Comox on Vancouver Island, and attended the University of British Columbia, where he studied mechanical engineering. As an athlete, McClure represented Canada at the 1956 Olympics in the men’s coxed eight and at the 1958 Commonwealth Games in the men’s coxless four, winning silver at both events.

In 1977, McClure joined Burnaby Lake Rowing Club as a volunteer coach, in addition to training and coaching UBC rowers who aspired to make the national team. He was described by UBC coach Mike Pearce as being “the stepping stone from UBC to the national team.”

McClure coached the Canadian national team at the 1984 and 1996 Olympics, and has coached numerous successful Canadian rowers, including Kathleen Heddle, Mike Rascher, Pat Turner, Brenda Taylor, Megan Belahanty, Laryssa Biesenthal, Tracey Duncan, and Tricia Smith.

McClure was also dedicated to his roles as a club-level coach and sports administrator, and contributed countless hours towards Burnaby Lake Rowing Club, managing the facility and its equipment in addition to coaching.

Among his many accolades are inductions into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame (1958), the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame (1976) and the University of British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame (2010) as a member of the 1956 silver medal winning men’s coxed eight and into the BC (1999), UBC (2002) and Burnaby (2003) Sports Hall of Fames as an individual and the Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame. Dick had a rowing scholarship at Simon Fraser University named in his honour.

Dick’s spirit will live on in the hearts of the rowing community nationwide. Dick was predeceased by his wife Alice, and is survived by his sister Donna and his children, nieces and grandchildren.

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