Leonide Alfred “Buddy” Baarcke Jr., 85, of Dahlonega, Ga., passed away on March 10, 2017, after a short illness.
Buddy graduated from Suwanee Military Academy in 1949, where he began his competitive swimming career. From there he went to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., and continued to swim competitively and began his coaching career. He graduated from UNC in 1953, was drafted into the Army and served two years where he swam competitively.
In 1954 he was the first American to set a world record in the butterfly stroke. Buddy was a college assistant coach for 10 years (UNC and UF) and a club coach for 40 years. He coached many Olympic medalists, national senior champions and national age group champions.
In September of 2016, Buddy was inducted into the American Swim Coaches Association’s coaching Hall of Fame after being involved in the sport for over eight decades.
Buddy is survived by his sister, Susan B. Bryan and her husband, Judge John N. Bryan; his sister, Rebecca B. Forehand; his niece, Sandy B. Vitalis and her husband, Colonel Greg Vitalis; his niece, Betsy F. Green and her husband, Richard W. Green Sr., and his great-nieces and great-nephews, Rich Green, Jack Bryan, Rebecca Green and Kate Bryan.
Buddy is preceded in death by his father, Leonide A. Baarcke Sr.; his mother, Olive W. Baarcke; his brother-in-law, Lee R. Forehand; his nephew, Lee W. Forehand; and his nephew, John N. (Nat) Bryan.
Arrangements are being handled by Dahlonega Funeral Home and a memorial service will be held at a later date.