Arne Lagerkvist (deceased)

Arne was one of the "older" (about 34) water polo players that used to come to Patton on the weekend to play water polo after our morning workouts.


Arne Lagerkvist, 79, of Macomb Township, died Saturday, Sept. 30, 2006.

Mr. Lagerkvist was a physical education teacher in Detroit Public Schools for 34 years, where he introduced flag football and soccer to the district's curriculum. A 1945 graduate of Eastern High School in Detroit, he also earned a bachelor's degree and two master's degrees in from Wayne State University where he was on the varsity swim team and a member of the varsity athletes fraternity, the Gas House Gang.

An all American in water polo in 1956, he participated in the 1964 Olympic trials. Throughout his life, he was an avid athlete, winning multiple medals in the Michigan Senior Olympics, competing in Masters Swimming, managing the senior men's softball team at the OPC in Rochester and playing on the volleyball team.

He loved working with children and taught swimming through Detroit Parks and Recreation and was a coach of many sports at Matt Mann's summer sports camps in Ontario, Canada.

Relatives said he was proud of his Swedish heritage and he was an officer at the Vasa Club in Lapeer, was a member of the Vasa Viking Lodge in Flint, the Swedish club and the Finnish Center in Farmington.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to create a new tennis court in his memory at the Vasa Club where he spent the summers of his life and may be sent to Vasa CC, 870 Loggers Cr., Rochester, MI 48307.

Memories may be shared with the family at

Some Memories From The Patton Pool Team

Arne Largavitz was a charter member of the inner circle that played water polo at Patton Pool on weekends.  He brought with him a sense of other worlds similar to Patton's.  You knew he was a fixture just by his cheery, comfortable manner and wry humor.  (And the man had a few original moves in water polo too!)  Joe Mueller, Walt Leonard, Arnie Largavitz -- the Old Guards in more than the literal sense -- gentlemen out of the pool, but not to be pushed around in the water.  Competition never diminished their camaraderie, though.  I'd like to drive on the net one more time and roll over with my arm up-stretched to get the pass I knew Arnie would put spot on from the other end of the pool.  There was always that little urgent look in his eye as the ball was in the air but, I swear, the soft smile was still in place, as if to say "Catch this, world."  Arnie's passed on in another sense now, but the smile remains, and maybe that's what he was really delivering for anyone who was receptive.  Miss you, Arnie.   -- Sully (Thomas Sullivan)

Yeah, Arne was down on Sundays playing polo with us. He also went with us to New York for the Trials. Joe Meuller was there too. When we went to the Polo Trials in New York in '64, he and Joe were the older guys. We played, but were decimated from our other teammates being out to compete in the swimming events. We got annihilated and, at the end of one game against El Segundo, Arne and Joe helped each other out of the water and then hobbled down the deck toward the locker room whistling the "Colonel Bogie March." -- Dennis Manrique

Besides having a last name tough to pronounce, and impossible to spell, Arne was a terrific guy who took all the time in the world to share his knowledge and love of water polo with anyone who cared to listen.  He was a fantastic goalie who many years after being named AAU All-American could still come up and out of the goal like an emerging volcano. One of my favorite stories of Arne was of him being called for standing on the bottom while playing polo in the diving pool at Brennen - he did have some strong legs. His love of the sport was contagious and for that, and simply knowing Arne, I am grateful.  He truly was one of the great guys. -- Mark Manrique

Anyone Patton swimmer who would like to add a  memory to this page, please email it to: