San Francisco lost a great citizen when Ben Legere of Eureka Valley, passed away Wednesday, March 9, 2010. While his name is universally recognized in any Catholic household within San Francisco, Mr. Legere was more than simply the CYO Officiating Legend. He was civic-minded, loved sports, and adored children.
He was proud of our City; the parks, youth programs and extensive transportation network. Mr. Legere travelled either by foot, bus, trolley, or not at all. His favorite haunts were within walking distance at Mission Dolores Gym, or in earlier years Eureka Valley Playground. Since retiring in 1998, Mr Legere would 'L' twice daily to the Tennessee Grill on Taraval St. for breakfast and dinner. "It's the cheapest place around," Ben would grin, "after including my bus fare!"
Mr. Legere was born on February 6th, 1933 to Lenor E. & Benjamin J. Legere at 2479 46th Ave in the Sunset District.
Mr. Legere was a proud product of our public school system, attending Fredrick Burk, Lowell H.S., City College and graduating from the University of California at Berkeley at the age of 20 in 1953. Mr. Legere paid for his education at Berkeley ($14/year tuition) by becoming an umpire, first for the fraternity teams, then expanding to the local playgrounds. The seeds for a lifelong love affair with officiating had been sown.
Armed with an Engineering Degree, Mr. Legere worked for PG&E for seven years as a surveyor and draftsman, before joining Gonzales/Oberkamper & Associates where he worked the next 40 years until his retirement. His employers benefitted from his diligence and brilliant ideas. Despite the numerous accomplishments in land development, Mr. Legere's lifelong involvement in youth sports for our City is where he will be missed, and remembered most.
For over 50 years, Mr Legere officiated youth and adults a like, year-round, in volleyball, basketball, baseball and softball. Countless are the times, when as an Official, Mr. Legere would stop a game to explain a rule. He cared deeply for participants, but mostly for our children, to play by rules, to compete, yet maintain a friendly atmosphere. He saw sports as a wonderful educational tool which encapsulated life, complete with thrills, disappointments, sacrifices and camaraderie.
Through his 23 years of service at CYO Athletics on the Advisory Board, Mr. Legere ensured that sport opportunities became available to all participants regardless of skill level. He and fellow Board Members introduced Divisions based on the collective ability of participants. No one was ever cut; the lessons of sport became available to all.
For good measure, Mr. Legere oversaw nearly 16,000 CYO games in baseball, basketball and volleyball. He also added, another 10,000 games officiating in High School softball and baseball, FLAME Basketball, as well as S.F. Youth Baseball, and his more recently founded S.F. Parishes & Schools Baseball League.
In 2008, CYO Athletics honored Mr. Legere as one of the first inductees to their Hall of Fame. Mr. Legere recently received an award for 50 years of service from the American Softball Association (ASA) and was a member of the Northern California Umpire Association (NCUA) for 50 years serving as a Board Member and Chairman.
Behind the scenes, Mr. Legere was active with the California Interscholastic Federation, S.F. Section (CIF), developing safety regulations, rules and field standards. Similarly, Mr. Legere spent over 40 years volunteering his services to the City he loved, by producing field surveys, baseball and softball schedules for the S.F. Recreation & Park Dept. His efforts were recognized by Mayor Frank Jordan, who proclaimed June 10, 1995 as "Ben Legere Day in San Francisco."1
Tous les efforts sont faites pour faciliter la lecture des informations généalogiques. Pour l'instant, ces informations sont affichées en français. Je suis à chercher une solution pour rendre le site bilingue.
All efforts are made to facilitate the reading of the genealogical information. For now, this information is displayed in French. I'm looking for a solution to make the site bilingual.