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Bob Moch was 90

ISSAQUAH, Wash. -- Bob Moch, coxswain of the University of Washington eight-oared crew that made a breathtaking come-from-behind victory to win a medal in front of Adolph Hitler at the 1936 Olympic Games, is dead at 90.

Moch, a retired lawyer, had a stroke Jan. 7 at his apartment in this Seattle suburb and died Tuesday at a care facility on the Sammamish Plateau, relatives and friends said.

Born and reared in Montesano, Moch found himself and his crew in Lane 6 for the climactic race in Berlin, more exposed to the weather and farther from the starter than any of the others.

The Huskies didn't hear the start and were in last place with less than half of the 2,000-meter race remaining, partly because
stroke Don Hume was ill and nearly unconscious.

In an interview with The Seattle Times last year, Moch said he was about to ask Joe Rantz in the No. 7 seat to begin setting the pace when Hume suddenly came to life.

Unable to make himself heard above the crowd noise even with his megaphone, the senior cox banged on the side of the shell to indicate the cadence, boosting the pace by a whopping 20 strokes to about 45 per minute at the end, another rower, Jim McMillin of Bainbridge Island, later recalled.

In the last 10 strokes, the Huskies passed Germany and Italy to win.

The only surviving rowers are McMillin, Rantz, now of Redmond, and Roger Morris of Maple Valley.

Moch's survivors include his wife of 37 years, LaVerne; sons Michael K. Moch of Lansing, Mich., and Robert Moch of Whidbey Island; daughter Marilyn Moch of Seattle; sister Marjorie Robertson of Bainbridge Island; stepson Michael Jacobs of Bend, Ore.; stepdaughters Patricia Sabin of Chehalis and Sharon Alexander of
Seattle; 13 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

A private life celebration was being planned.