Lee Bjella 2015

Chapter 34


Seattle "Y" photos at bottom - more will be coming soon along with 2012 Reunion photos.
This project is under construction right now. Please send any info or photos or stories that you feel would be of value to this chapter to Lee Bjella - Or fill out an online form - simply add your story and and click submit.

Seattle YMCA Memories Page - add your memories by contacting Lee, above.
(Joyce Tanac Shroeder and Sandy Hartley so far!)

Seattle YMCA
Early 1900's Seattle YMCA and AAU had gymnastics competitions. Sheridan (Sherry) Bertiaume. Mr. Bertiaume had been at the Seattle YMCA as a physical education director from 1914-1916. When Roosevelt opened in 1922 he moved to the school as a physical education teacher and boys' counselor. George Lewis went to the "Y" where he trained himself and hoped to interest other men, including Tommy Thorson, in working on the gymnastics apparatus. Since he always enjoyed teaching others, he had classes for young people. George was also fond of, and skilled in diving. He competed both for the YMCA and Roosevelt High School on the swim team. While at Green Lake Fieldhouse he participated in tumbling and gymnastics. He began volunteer work at the Seattle YMCA from 1939-42.

1932 -1939 - Seattle YMCA sponsored state high school invitationals.

1940-1945 - Not much happening in gymnastics during the War Years. The Seattle "Y" did have gym classes.- George Lewis is noted for bringing the first trampoline to the west coast in 1940.The first competitive open meet after the war was in 1947 and was conducted by George Lewis.

In 1950 Eric Hughes brought one of his students, Rudy Peterson, to compete at a gymnastic meet at the "Y" and that is where these two met. Thereafter they did hand balancing together and performed at shows in order to further interest in the sport. Eric had children's programs but he was only able to accommodate boys at his UW facility so when he got calls to teach girls, Eric referred them to George Lewis at the downtown "Y". Thus George started with the girls programs.

The first of these girls was Patsy Walkup beginning in about 1957 and 1958. Also included were the Suver girls, Ann Berger along with Terry Hildebrand, Frank Gato, Ken Lombardo, and Dale Shirley. This group of people would train at the Seattle Y on Wednesdays and apparently would also go to the UW. Dale McClements began in 1959 as a student at Highline High School. She went to Gym Kamp that summer and then to the "Y" with George and often to California with Bud Marquette.

1951 - Seattle YMCA hosts Pacific Northwest AAU Championships. (Joint sponsorship.)

Seattle YMCA 1973 National ChampsIn 1962 the Nationals were held in Seattle in conjunction with the World's Fair and Dale won the all-around. That meet was a trial for the upcoming World Games in Czechoslovakia that coming summer. Dale was a member of that team and George was a coach. Later more girls were attracted to the sport and began competing. George took these girls, as they became more skilled, to AAU, YMCA, National and Canadian championship meets.

George Lewis would call George Gulak, who was National chairman of AAU gymnastics, and find out where the meets were held and how to obtain entry forms. Thus, these girls had the opportunity to attend meets around the country and Canada. Some top name girls came to Seattle in order to train with George. (Including Avis Tieber Jamieson and Doris Fuchs Brause.) Many Seattle girls were offered scholarships to attend other colleges and compete on teams in other places. The program at the Seattle "Y" attracted many high school Physical Education teachers. George gave workshops, invitational meets and helped many gymnasts go to other meets and invited them to workouts at the YMCA.Debbie Halle

In 1973 the Seattle YMCA team won the YMCA Nationals in New Orleans. In picture at left, Top bar: L to R: Jan Anten, Patti Lanterman (Gable), Terry Lanigan; Low bar: Sue Middleton, Donna Burian; Standing: Janette Anderson, Debbie Halle, Sue Swenson, Laurel Anderson (Tindall) and Jill Johnson. Front is George Lewis. Debbie Halle was 3rd AA, 2nd FX and Bars, and Laurel Anderson (Tindall) was 2nd on vault.

This was high caliber gymnastics - Bart Conner, who was the JO champion the previous year, competed at this meet. This meet had the elites of the day.

Groupings according to eras






Gaye Anderson
Ann Berger
Patsy Walkup

Doris Fuchs Brause
Carol Camp
Barb Cook Newton
Jan Crosby
Pauline David
Carol Elsner
Karla Foxal
Louise Grant
Jeanne Henderson Powell
Dale McClements Kephart
Linda Rodella Luna

Dale McClements Kephart
Joyce Tanac Schroeder
Lonna Woodward Kantas
Carolyn Pingatore Holmes
Cleo Carver Schreifels
Peggy Rowen
Leann McClements
Jannette Boyd Anderson
Shirley Boyd Fisher
Sandra Hartley


Jan Ahten
Donna Burian
Patti Lanterman Gable
Debbie Halle
Jill Johnson
Terry Lanigan
Sue Middleton
Peggy Rowen
Cleo Carver Schreifels
Judy Swanson
Sue Swenson
Laurel Anderson Tindall
Jill Johnson Welker






Rudy Peterson
Terry Hildebrand
Frank Gato
Ken Lombardo
Dale Shirley





Anderson, Gaye: Went with Ivan Little from the Tukwila School District to the "Y". Owns the New Orleans Restaurant in Pioneer Square.

Ahten, Jan: Member of 1973 the Seattle YMCA team won the YMCA Nationals in New Orleans. George Lewis Gymnast from 1969 - 1978; 1974 - 8th place USGF jr nationals Hayward CA; 1974 - Gold Medalist AAU Jr Olympics Lincoln Neb; 1975 14th USGF Elite Nationals; 1975 USA National Team Member; 1975 1st place AA CanAm Invitational Eugene OR; 1975 - 13th place PanAm games final trials Miami FL; 1976 olympics trials ; 78-79, 79-80 University of Washington.

Berger, Ann: 1950's "Y" competitor.

Brause Fuchs, Doris: 1956 and 1960 Olympic Team. Came to Seattle for a couple years to work with George. 1964 National AAU Women's Championships All Around - tied for 9th place. 1964 Olympic Team alternate. The uneven bar move, the Brause salto was named for her. 1964 named to the AAU All American Women's Gymnastics Team on uneven bars. (Representing Florida Gold Coast AAU team.) She owned a gym in Conneticut.

Carringer, Jackie: Greater Seattle Gymnastics Club. Early coach of Yumi Modre.

Black, Laurie: Seattle gymnast who was on early UW club team, graduate from Nathan Hale H.S.

Boyd, Janette (Anderson): Originally from Texas. Her family moved to Seattle so that she could train with George Lewis in the late 1960's.Coached by Dale Shirley from 1968 to about 1970. Elite gymnast. (By 1973 the "Y" team was no longer associated with the YMCA and was named Gymnastics, Inc.) 1973 AA winner of Chinese American Meet held at Madison Square Garden.In 1973, she was ranked as the number 4 gymnast in the country, after a two break from gymnastics-in 1968 she was ranked 2nd. National Team Member to Japanese Cup. AA at 1966 USGF and NAAU Championships.

Boyd, Shirley (Fisher) on the Seattle YMCA National Team as an all-around gymnast, coached by Dale Shirley. 1968 to 1973 and trained with Laurel Anderson, Janette Boyd and Lucrecia Conners. George was training Joyce Tanac, Cleo Carver, Carolyn Pinatore "Ping", Debbie Halle and Jill Johnson.

Camp, Carol (Flaathen): Graduated from Highline H.S. in '63. Trained at the "Y". Married Husky gymnast Eigel Flaathen from Norway and moved there and coached Olympic members. Attended U.W.- 1964. Was set to go train nationally but fell on bars and hurt her back and was in a cast. Took ballet because she could still use her legs. Carol did Irish Step Dancing as a competitor and still lives in Norway.

Carver, Cleo (Schreifels): George Lewis' Elite gymnast. 1968 6th at the Olympic Team Trials. (Politics forced her from the team.) USGF Vt. Champ 1969. 1970 World Team, 1972 Olympic Trials. 2009 USAGWA Hall of Fame.

Connors, Lucrezia (Paxon)

Cook, Barbara (Newton): Graduate of Roosevelt H.S. Trained at the Seattle "Y". Graduated from UW. 1964 UW team and went to National College Championship with the team that placed 2nd in 1966 and 1967. Was on the 1968 Seattle Gymnastics Club team that toured Asia. Taught P.E. at Roosevelt High School.

Crosby, Jan

Elsner,Carol: From Lake Washington H.S. Competed at the Seattle "Y". Worked with Jim Frasier. Competed and coached at U.W. Went to first collegiate meet with Dale McClements. In 1965 and 1966 she was a member of the women's college "All American Gymnastics Team". Went on Asian tour with the Seattle Gymnastics Club Team in 1968. Graduated in 1966. Became a professional dancer and danced in New York for ten years. Came back and coached at BHS.

Frese, Marilyn Anderson: Highline H.S. student who went to the "Y".(Her father Verne had been an early gymnast at the U.W. He made a balance beam for the school.)

Gable, Patti Lanterman: Gymnast for Seattle "Y". Elite gymnast. 1972 Canadian American Championship AA Champ. 1973 Regional JO 1st AA; Pacific NW JO 1st AA; and JO Nationals 1st AA. 1974 Class 1 State 2nd AA. 1974 YMCA Nationals 3rd AA, 1st FX, and 2nd Bars. 1976 USA Olympic Trials qualifier. (She went to Connecticut for 6 months and trained with Muriel Grossfeld in 1975, and then quit competing.)
1981 UW grad, but did not do gymnastics. 1977-'81 Gymnastics, Inc. coach, which she bought from George in 1979. She kept it at SPU, and then moved it in 1981 to Kirkland, across the street from the present gym, amd named the gym NWA. She moved to the current building in 1994. USAG WA 1981-2004. Patti is the mother of two daughters, Tynan and Kirann.

Grant, Louise (Sussman): Gymnast at Seattle "Y" with Laurel Tindall ,Sue Mullen, Barb Cook and Joyce Tanac. Attended Lincoln High-Seattle. Tumbling specialist. Lives in Springfield Mass.

Halle, Debbie (Jackson): "Y" gymnast for George Lewis; 1971-1977 Elite level. 1971 Junior Olympic National All-Around Champ; 1972 USA Olympic Trials Top 20; 1972 and 1974 YMCA National All-Around Champion; On the team that won YMCA Nationals. 1974 SPU's first National Gymnastics Champ on Uneven Bars, 2nd All-Around - with Laurel Anderson Tindall and Jenny Fooshee, they finished 4th as a team - this was the first year that SPU had a gymnastics team. 1976 USA Olympic Trial Top 20. 1974-77 four year All-American at SPU. Three time Washington State Open All-Around Champion. 2004 first SPU gymnast inducted into SPU's Falcon Legends Hall of Fame. 2009 USAGWA Hall of Fame.

Hartley, Sandra: "Y" gymnast; first Canadian, male or female, to compete the full twist in Floor Ex competition in 1969 (World Team Trials, York University). "The fruits of the training at the Y helped me to come 9th at U.S. Olympic Trials in 1968... I would have loved to have actually been on the team to train with Joyce, Cathy, Linda. But instead I won all three Olympic Trials in Canada, and was seriously injured at a training camp 5 weeks before competing in Mexico City. I was badly weakened for the bars (dislocated elbow) at the Olympics, and did not compete well."

Henderson, Jean: Placed 3rd in the Pacific Northwest Meet in 1965 and 1966. She was on the Seattle Gymnastics Club team that toured Asia in 1968. Dad, Jack Henderson was the first coach at Seattle U. Her mom, Pat, played the piano floor music for Georges kids. (Jack and George were buddies.)

Hickey, Priscilla K. Taylor: Bellevue HS gymnast 1966-1969. U.W. gymnast in 1971 and 1972. She qualified for Nationals both years. NAWGJ WA. Former State Judging Director. Brevet judge. Now lives in Connecticut.

Holmes, Carolyn "Ping" Pingatore: Jr. AA Champ 1967. Was a gymnast for George Lewis and Dale Shirley. 1968 USGF AA Champ. 1968 Olympic Team alternate. Coached at Jerry Penney's Christmas Camps in the 1970's. 2002 inducted into the first USAG WA. Hall of Fame

Jamieson, Avis Tieber: Seattle YMCA gymnast for a couple years for George Lewis. She was a notable national gymnast in the 1960's just came to catch some of George's coaching.

Johnson, Jill (Welker): YMCA gymnast. National competition with Laurel and Debbie Halle. SPU gymnast in 1975 -Laurels first year there as coach. Her husband was the AAI rep before Sandy Strathdee Gaines.

Kephart, Dale McClements: Moved to Seattle 1959 from Canada. Attended Highline H.S. Also Gym Kamper. Turned out at High school and also Seattle "Y". Won 1962 National AA in Seattle. Olympic team member in Japan. Highest U.S. score. Graduated from U.W. Married (later divorced) Mike Flansaas of the U.W. men's team. Coached and taught at schools and clubs made compulsory routines for Olympics. Coached at Olympic games and coached at college level. Living presently in Alaska. Also judged at Olympics. Inducted into U.W. Hall of Fame, 1999, and WA. state USAG Hall of Fame 2003. (For her extended biography, please see the chapter on Who's Who In WA. Gymnastics.)

Luna, Linda Rodella: UW gymnast. She was on the Seattle Gymnastics Club team that toured Asia in 1968. Linda was the best women's all-around performer on the team. She was the former Pacific Northwest junior and senior champion. In 1965 she placed third in the Junior National AAU Championships. Was on the 1970 team that toured South America. Married UW men's team member Bo Bennett. Later married Sergio Luna and is the mother of gymnasts Daniel and Sergio Jr., and Amber.

McClements, Leann: Elite gymnast. Dale and Wayne's sister. US National Team Staff. Coach at Tigard School of Gymnastics, Oregon. Coached at Jerry Penney's Christmas Camps in the 1970's.

Middleton, Su (Dennis)

Mullet, Sue (Foster)

Rowen, Peggy: As a 13 year old junior high student in Tacoma, she toured Asia with the Seattle Gymnastics Club in 1968. She won novice and junior championships in the YMCA and AAU competitions and in 1967 was a member of the "Y" team that won the National YMCA championship.

Shirley, Karla

Smith Mullet, Sue: Came to the Seattle "Y" from Foster High School with Ivan Little.

Smith, Lorna: Early Highline HS gymnast 1957.

Suver, Carolyn & Gwen: Students at Highline HS 1956-57. Also trained at the Y. Early Gym Kampers. Carolyn, who was older, married UW gymnast Frank Hailand.

Tanac, Joyce (Schroeder): Began tumbling at age 10. Started at the Seattle "Y" in 1963 with George Lewis. (Frank Hailand was also an early influence.) She was first YMCA National AA Champion. She holds National Championships in AAU, USGF, and YMCA competitions. She performed the one arm handstand on the beam at the 1967 Pan Am Games. The Tanac dismount on unevens is named for her. (Others in the gym were playing with this move, but Joyce was the first to do it in national competition.) 1965-'66 -National YMCA Women's AA Champ. World Games team 1966. 1966 Pan Am Games, 2nd AA. 1968 Olympic Trials, 1st AA. US Olympic team 1968. (Team was 6th, Joyce was 30th AA at Olympics.) She won the Senior National AA -USGF in 1969. 1969 First USGF World Cup, 3rd AA. 1969 Pacific Coast Invitational 1st AA. 1969 AAU National AA Champ and placed first in every individual event. Competed for the UW Womens Team. Member US Collegiate All Star team. U.W. Hall of Fame 1998. 1990 inducted into the national gymnastics Hall of Fame. 2003 WA. USAG Hall of Fame. Lives in Spokane. (Her father, Bob, was the Pacific NW AAU Junior Olympic Committee representative in the 1960's.)

Tindall, Laurel Anderson: Student of George Lewis, Gymnastics Incorporated. Queen Anne High School. U.W gymnast 1972-1973. S.P.U gymnast 1974 -1975. National Vault champ 1973 and 1975. Seattle Pacific University coach from 1976 to present. S.P.U. won 3 National Division II titles, 15 national champions and 38 of her gymnasts have been All-American. Coached at Jerry Penney's Christmas Camps in the 1970's. USGF/USAG Regional Chair 1979-1996. Head Coach of Falcon Gymnastics Club. Present Brevet level Woman's judge. WA. USAG Hall of Fame 2004.

Walkup, Patsy :Started at "Y" in 1957. Also with Eric Hughes. Went to Roosevelt H.S. Trained with the boys. As a 14 year old, Patsy competed in the Pacific Northwest Association meet. She was one of the Northwest's most accomplished gymnasts at the time. At 15, she was 3rd in the all-around at the NWAAU. Graduated 1960. Competed in Canada. Went to first Gym Kamp. Taught with Eric. Worked with Inga-Lisa Franzon.

Woodward, Lonna (Kantas) Elite gymnast for the Seattle Y. USGF Beam Champ 1969. National YMCA All Around Champion. Traveled with the Huskey Gymnastics Club in 1970.Coached at Gymnastics Incorporated. Coached at Jerry Penney's Christmas Camps in the 1970's.


Rudy Peterson
Terry Hildebrand
Frank Gato
Ken Lombardo
Dale Shirley

The following photos are posted on Dale Shirley's YMCA Facebook page. These are all taken or contributed to that page by the gymnasts and coaches of the Seattle YMCA teams.

2012 Reunion

Dale Shirley at 1968 Olympics in Mexico

Dale Shirley at 1968 Olympics in Mexico

Cleo Carver at GymKamp

Jan Crosby at GymKamp

Gymnasts of Kobe, Japan will compete here November 10 in a meet co-sponsored by the Greater Seattle Gymnastics Club and The Seattle Times

Members of the 1968 Olympic Team
(Front row) Joyce Tanac Schroeder,
Linda Metheny Mulvihill
(2nd row) Cathy Rigby McCoy, Diane Bolin, alternate, Colleen Mulvihill,
Muriel D. Grossfeld, Coach
(back row) Kathy Gleason, Caroline Pingatore, alternate, Wendy Cluff Calabro, Vannie Edwards, Manager
(not shown: Dick Mulvihill, Assistant Coach
Abie Grossfeld, Assistant Coach)


1965 Mr. McClements, Leanne, Pam Dalthorp, Karla Foxal, Cleo Carver, Lonna Woodard

Joyce Tanac and Lonna Woodard in Joyce's backyard 1966


more to come.......












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