Gerry Davidson dies at 90; Hall of Famer was a distance marvel

Gerry and Bob at Hawaii nationals.

Personally sad news to report: Our friend Gerry Davidson died Friday at her home in Seal Beach Leisure World south of Los Angeles. She was 90, and hadn’t run in several years. She suffered a stroke in April and never recovered. She lost her beloved husband, Bob, about five years ago. The word comes from Debbie Selby, who learned of the passing from Gerry’s son Norm. Gerry once lived an hour from me in north San Diego County, and the first time I spied her she was doing yoga against a set of bleachers at MiraCosta College. She was wearing long black leg tights, and I swore she looked 30 years old. She was in her late 70s at the time.

Gerry ran for several clubs, including the San Diego Track Club.

A 2003 inductee of the USATF Masters Hall of Fame, Gerry still holds world records in the W80 and W85 outdoor mile (9:00.52 and 11:03.11) and W80 indoor mile (10:54.48) as well as a slew of road records. I wrote about her setting the W80 mile record the same day Alan Webb broke Jim Ryun’s legendary high school mile record.

Bob and Gerry at 2006 Trojan Masters Meet at USC. (Photos by Ken Stone)

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August 10, 2011

9 Responses

  1. peter taylor - August 10, 2011

    Gerry was a wonderful part of masters T&F; I announced her many times. She was missed the last several years, as she had to abstain from competition. My condolences to the family.

  2. Mary Harada - August 10, 2011

    I met Gerry and Bob many years ago and got to know them in Australia for the WAVA meet in Brisbane. We took the same post meet sightseeing trip. She was a great competitor and I have missed seeing her and chatting with her the last few years.
    I look forward to trying to break her records when I turn 80 and 85. I hope I will be able to continue to run with the grace and class that she had.
    My condolences to her family.

  3. Kettrell Berry - August 10, 2011

    Rest in Peace Jerry

  4. Paul Greer - August 10, 2011

    I had the wonderful privilege to coach Gerry from time to time when she would join the San Diego Track Club workouts. For many years she participated in the Rockin N Runnin Marathon Training Program. Gerry was a true champion in every sense of the word and a wonderful person. We loved Gerry and her memory will live on in our hearts for a lifetime.
    God bless you Gerry!

    Coach Paul Greer
    San Diego Track Club

  5. Jeff Davison - August 11, 2011

    Bob and Gerry were both very nice people, and an inspiration for us all.

  6. James Chinn - August 11, 2011

    We miss you Gerry.

  7. Jai Black - August 11, 2011

    Gerry instrumental in my running career. A few years ago in my beginnings as a distance/5k runner met her while searching for her car in the huge
    Ski beach parking lots at Independence day race..she said she would be watching and she did
    At Nationals North Carolina walked her and Bob often from track to dorms cafeteria etc. She informed me that the track was more “suitable” for me and glad that I had figured that out…..
    A true gem and an inspiration for me as an athlete and human being! She will be missed . I am grateful for the wonderful memories .

  8. Ellen Brannigan - August 16, 2011

    Rest in Peace Gerry. Sorry I never got back to you in track. You were one of our “Lovelies.”
    Ellen Brannigan, So.CA Striders Masters Track/Field

  9. Michael Davidson - August 8, 2017

    Gerry was my aunt. Her husband Bob was my father Roger’s brother. Anyone know how I can contact Gerry’s son Norman. He’s my cousin whom I haven’t seen in many years.

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