Rich Jeffries, a resident of Tybee Island, GA, died on March 24, 2015, after a series of strokes, at the Oceanside Nursing Home on Tybee Island, surrounded by his family. Born August 29, 1948, he was 66 years.
Born 1948 in Torrance, CA, Rich grew up in Manhattan Beach, CA, where he learn to surf and was a member of swim and water polo teams at Aviation High. Rich was drafted in the Vietnam War in 1968 where he received numerous decorations including the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and The Army Commendation Medal, to name a few.
After the service he attended San Diego State University, which was the perfect place for his favorite sports, surfing, sailing his Hobie Cat and flying his Hobie Hawk. In 1974 Rich became involved with the operation of regattas for the Hobie Cat Company, where he arranged Hobie regattas local, nationally and worldwide. Because of his experience in running large international regattas he was invited in 1981 to be the venue coordinator for the 1984 Olympic yachting in Los Angeles.
He continued to be involved in several sports management teams worldwide, including numerous US Sailing committees and Board of Directors, plus ISAF and Pan Am Games. He is best known in the Savannah Area for being the venue manager of the 1996 Olympic Games.
Rich was also the president of the RS:X Olympic Windsurfing class, Vice Chairman and member of the ISAF Windsurfing and Kiteboarding Committee. He was Honorary Life Member of the International RS:X Class Association.
Rich was the right man to take the RSX from the ISAF run formative Olympic class selected from equipment trials into the self managing, stand alone position we have today. He did this with grace and a firm belief in the importance of windsurfing to the Olympic sailing movement. He will be especially remembered for his calm leadership and endearing style. In his brief tenure as class chairman he made a big impact and his passing is a great loss to the sailing and windsurfing community as a whole.
He is survived by his daughter Jennifer Jeffries Phillips of Boerne, TX (Mark) and a daughter Makenzie Jeffries of Savannah, Grandsons: Cole, Zachary and Landon. He is preceded in death by his parents, Willard and Lavera Jeffries as well as his sister Carol.
Rest In Peace Rich.
Celebration of Life will be held on Friday, March 27, 2015 from 5:00PM-7:00PM at 90 Shipwatch Road, Savannah, GA 31410. An online guest book is available here.