Cynthia Rosedale dies at 64; key force at Pasadena Senior Games

Masters hero Cynthia will be missed.

Masters hero Cynthia will be missed.

For the past dozen years — since turning 50 — I’ve been a regular at the Pasadena Senior Games — aka the California Senior Games. An eternal presence was Cynthia Rosedale, who has helped her friend Christel Donley put on a first-class track meet at Caltech. Thursday I learned that Cynthia had died of cancer. (Pasadena Weekly listed her age as 64.) I’m bummed. Cynthia did a lot to keep the meet going (overcoming local neighbors’ opposition because of noise). She passed away Tuesday, and the local paper has a good profile. Jim Hanley also sent an update: “If you have not heard the news already, it is my sad task to announce that Cynthia Rosedale passed away early this week from complications of the cancer that she so bravely fought. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 10, 2016 at the Salem Lutheran Church in Glendale. The address is 1211 Brand Blvd., Glendale, CA 91202. The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Pasadena Senior Games c/o the Pasadena Senior Center.”

Jim continued:

Cynthia dedicated her life to the Senior Games and worked year-round to provide a wonderful event every year for athletes like you.

As a memorial and tribute to Cynthia, her daughter Katie plans to hold the meet this year. The track meet will go on at Caltech on June 4 under the direction of Christel Donley and myself. I also plan to conduct the road race at the Rose Bowl on June 26. The Pasadena Senior Center will be involved, and we will be counting on PSC staff member Nancy Adams more than ever. … Most of the preliminary work has already been done by Cynthia despite her grave illness — which tells all you need to know about how she felt about the Senior Games and her love for its athletes.

Here’s the local obit:

Cynthia Rosedale, a respected employee of the Pasadena Senior Center since 1992 and a former member of the board of directors, passed away March 29 after a long illness. She was the director of events, volunteers and senior games.

Born and raised in the Pasadena area, she graduated from Westridge School for Girls and the University of California-Berkeley.

For more than 30 years she was devoted to the lives of seniors. It was in her DNA: Her grandmother was one of the founders of the Pasadena Senior Center in 1960, her aunt was an early volunteer and her mother’s best friend was the first executive director.

When she was asked to serve on the board of the directors in 1986, she happily agreed and six years later was hired as a staff member.

She brought what was then known as the Senior Olympics to Pasadena in 1992, which has since expanded to the California Senior Games Championships. She managed the games and served as vice chair of the California Senior Games Association until her death. With about 2,000 athletes ages 50 and older competing annually in nearly 30 sports categories at 24 venues in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the California Senior Games Championships is a qualifying event for the National Senior Games Championships.

In addition, she coordinated all Pasadena Senior Center volunteer activities and organized special events throughout the year, from holiday dinners, brunches and dances to summer concerts in Memorial Park.

“Cynthia truly was the face of the Pasadena Senior Center,” said Akila Gibbs, executive director. “She touched so many with her generosity, encouragement and hard work, was always approachable and was absolutely amazing. She has left an exceptional legacy that I know will live on in the good works of our board, staff, volunteers and members who were so inspired by her.”

A condolence book, along with a photo of Cynthia Rosedale, is available at the Welcome Desk at the Pasadena Senior Center, 85 E. Holly St. All who knew her are encouraged to sign the condolence book, which will be given to the surviving family.

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March 31, 2016

8 Responses

  1. ed rose - April 1, 2016

    Cynthia, always did a great job with the games. She was very responsive to questions and suggestions. She will be missed.

  2. Ken Ogden - April 1, 2016

    I didn’t personally know this lady, but I know
    how important leadership like hers is to masters events. I’m sure all master athletes in the Southland will miss her. RIP Cynthia

  3. Steve Morris - April 1, 2016

    One of my favorite masters track meets. Lots of athletes, fans and friendly officials and extra goodies + food and t-shirts. Cal-Tech is a great facility. The “Great” Charlie Paddock (USC) set multiple sprint world records on this track in the early 20’s. We will miss you Cynthia and all your efforts.

  4. Bob Hingston - April 2, 2016

    I worked with Cynthia for 7 years on the Conference on Aging, Senior Games and other programs. We really got along great ! I am deeply saddened to hear of her passing last week and I all ready miss her. I’m going to miss going out to lunch with her too. She loved her family and was always mentioning her grandchildren. My thoughts and prayers are with you all !!! God bless !!!

  5. Ken Stone - April 4, 2016

    Katie Enney of the Pasadena Senior Center writes:

    Cynthia’s family has asked that the following information about the April 10 Memorial Service be shared with you specifically.  It is not for the general public but for those who worked directly with Cynthia.

    For others in a larger announcement:

    A larger Celebration of Life will be held later in the Spring at the Pasadena Senior Center for anyone who would like to come and celebrate her life.
    In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Cynthia’s honor to the Pasadena Senior Games (Checks made payable to the Pasadena Senior Center with a designation of Senior Games in the memo line or online at designation of in memory of Cynthia Rosedale) to keep Cynthia’s passion alive for this year and the years to come.


  6. karl m thorpe sr - April 6, 2016

    I have ran at the meet for 10 years she was the best.I will miss seeing her there . god bless the family .

  7. Karen Vaughn - April 10, 2016

    I first met Cynthia at one of Crystal Donley’s meets at Occidental College. She was oh so quiet, but a master at getting things done. I’ve tried not to miss a senior’s meet in Pasadena ever since I turned 50. I’ve always looked forward to going. Not only was Cynthia dedicated to running events smoothly, but she really desired that all people keep active. She is sorely missed. We mustn’t take for granted the hard work that is put into the meets that we so thoroughly enjoy. Good-bye dear lady.

  8. Jeff Davison - March 2, 2020

    2020 update:

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