Poly legend Lumsden dies at 81

Student, teacher, coach at school for 50 years

October 24, 2002|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

Bob Lumsden, 81, whose 50 years at Poly included time as a student, teacher, football and baseball coach and athletic director, died yesterday of complications from a stroke, heart and lung problems at Greater Baltimore Medical Center.

Lumsden died in the presence of his immediate family, according to his son, Robby Lumsden.

"My father had a living will and he told me, personally, that his desire was not to be put on life-support systems," said Robby Lumsden, whose father had three heart bypass operations over several years, beginning in 1981. "If it was to be tackled, if it was to be conquered, he wanted to be able to do it on his own."

The Poly football stadium is named in Lumsden's honor. As Poly's baseball coach from 1944 to 1967, he compiled a 383-62 record, an .861 winning percentage.

Robby Lumsden said his father had had serious health problems for the past year, but still managed to play golf three days a week at the Mount Pleasant course. But after taking a fall while walking in his Perry Hall home on Saturday, he was admitted to GBMC with possible rib damage. It was later discovered that he had cracked ribs.

While hospitalized, he suffered a stroke, which paralyzed his right side, and also a minor heart attack, his son said. Although the stroke impaired his speech, his father never lost consciousness, Robby Lumsden said, and "made every effort to communicate up until the final moment he died.

"He had had the stroke and couldn't speak or swallow," said former Poly basketball coach George "Bucky" Kimmett, who visited Lumsden in the hospital Tuesday. "He was a very disciplined man whose bark was worse than his bite."

Besides Robby Lumsden, present at the bedside were his wife of 61 years, Helen; his daughter, Sherry Lumsden; another son, Stuart Lumsden, and a granddaughter, Poppy Rupert.

Sun staff writer Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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