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Harold Prugh, 95; Was Director of Physical Activities at Glendale YMCA for 19 Years

June 13, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

Harold Prugh, a leader of the Glendale YMCA for nearly 50 years who also served as an official for the U.S. Volleyball Assn., has died. He was 95.

Prugh died Saturday at a convalescent hospital in Glendale of complications from a stroke he had suffered in May.

An active, vital man well into his 90s, Prugh was the director of physical activities for the Glendale Y for 19 years before retiring in 1973. He continued to teach tennis and badminton and to raise money for the Y until his illness in May.

At the Glendale Y, he was well known for creating innovative athletic programs. He launched a citywide youth baseball league that attracted hundreds of youngsters, with a proviso that each child play at least two innings in each game, regardless of the score. The requirement would be adopted by many Little League baseball programs.

Away from the Y, Prugh officiated volleyball matches for Los Angeles city high schools and the Manhattan Beach summer volleyball tournament well into his 80s. He also served for many years as an official for the U.S. Volleyball Assn.'s tournaments and intercollegiate matches and officiated at the 1964 Olympic trials for women.

Born in Dayton, Ohio, Prugh earned his bachelor's degree in sociology from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, where he also earned athletic letters in basketball, tennis and track. He later earned a master's degree from Columbia University in New York.

He worked at YMCAs in Dayton; Buffalo, N.Y.; Pittsburgh; Williamport, Pa.; and Omaha before coming to Southern California.

Prugh was physical director of the YMCA in downtown Los Angeles for several years in the 1950s before moving on to Glendale in 1954.

He is survived by his sons Jeff of San Clemente and Vince of Durango, Colo., and two grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Glendale Presbyterian Church.

The family suggests that those wishing to make memorial contributions do so to the YMCA of Glendale, 140 N. Louise St., Glendale, CA 91206.

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