Our founding father has passed: David Pain dies at 96 at home in San Diego

Linda and David Pain, observing a masters meet as honored guests, made everything possible for us.Linda and David Pain, observing a masters meet as honored guests, made everything possible for us. He was THE giant.

I’ll share my own memories later. For now, please see my obituary of David Pain on Times of San Diego. It’s impossible to overstate what David meant to me, the sport and the world. Please join me in wishing deepest condolences to Linda Pain and their extended family. Meanwhile, here are some touching remembrances from his 90th birthday party and 2014 salute by the San Diego Track Club.

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About the Author

Ken Stone
Ken has followed track as an athlete, writer and webmaster since the late 1960s, and saw most sessions of track and field at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also attended the 1988, 1992, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Trials. He worked for 10 newspapers and now reports for Times of San Diego. Write him at TrackCEO@aol.com or kens@timesofandiego.com. Story tips always welcome!

9 Comments on "Our founding father has passed: David Pain dies at 96 at home in San Diego"

  1. Rest In Peace David. Thoughts and prayers to his family. I did not know the man personally, however he had a very personal impact on my health and overall well-being. His efforts in starting Masters T&F provided me the opportunity to enjoy a sport and a lifestyle that has greatly enhanced my life. His legacy is undeniable.

  2. Christel Donley | February 17, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Reply

    Ken, when I read about Dave’s passing this morning, I truly thought of you first and our conversation, a while ago. You have been visiting him regularly and even brought a favorite snack (can’t remember what it was?) My question was , does Dave recognize you,? hopefully.
    I imagine, you have that fond memory amongst others.
    Yes, it all started with Dave and not too many of our younger athletes have met him. Waiting for your memories to share. I have my own, and at our last conversation that Dave and I had,before the party you gave him, we parted with hugs and nothig but good wishes. That is my best memory.
    Rest in peace, Dave.

  3. I did not know David but yes my life is changed by Masters Sports, I am grateful to him and I very much look forward to the recounts of who he was as a person.

  4. Bridget CUSHEN | February 18, 2019 at 6:27 am | Reply

    Sad news. I send my condolence to his family. I had the pleasure of meeting and working with him on the then World Association of Veteran Athletes, I much admired his enthusiasm, flair and sense of fair play. He instigated international competition for Masters. The first Club solely for men aged over 40 was formed in London in 1931, the Veterans Athletic Club, and is still flourishing today. Thank you, David, you were an inspiration. Rest in Peace.

  5. Nicely said, Bridget. I believe I met David Pain only once, and our encounter was very brief, but I realized that I was in the company of a man who had had a big impact on me and countless other men and women. Yes, I entered masters T&F in late 1976 at age 31, and right away I knew that I had become involved in something special. Today, I am still active in masters meets, and I thank David Pain once again for what he did for us.

    Condolences to David’s family and friends.

  6. I am so sorry to learn of Davids’s passing, please convey my condolences to the family.
    David was full of energy, crerativity and persistance. The Masters program would not be where it is today were it not for his early efforts tp promote Masters programs.
    I was hooked on Masters after enjoying several tours he and Helen put together, primarily to Hawaii. The 1989 WMA Championships in Eugene were in large due to his persistance.
    We owe himn a greal deal of gratitude and he will be missed!

  7. For those that are interested David’s USMITT newsletters are located at


    Provided by David to us now free of charge … a history of some the beginning athletes and beginning meets. Thank you again David.

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