Loyola Marymount University (LMU) held a memorial service Sunday, August 19th, for Loyola University alumnus Richard “Duke” Weber, an avid fan of LMU sports who was instrumental in creating three athletics scholarships for the university.
Weber, who graduated from what was then Loyola University in 1941, before it merged with Marymount College to form LMU, died at his home in Santa Monica July 28th, at the age of 89.
Family, friends and members of the LMU community paid tribute to Weber during the memorial service at the LMU Sacred Heart Chapel.
Weber attended Loyola when it was an all-male university. The school became co-ed when it merged with Marymount College in 1973. Although not a Loyola athlete himself, Weber was recognized as a devoted fan of LMU athletics, particularly baseball. Among his other favorite sports were tennis, football, track and field and golf.
LMU baseball coach Frank Cruz said Weber seemed to become particularly interested in the baseball program near the beginning of this decade, when catcher Scott Walter, the grandson of Weber’s good friend Hugh Boyle, was playing on the team.
“He was always in the background,” Cruz said of Weber’s attendance at baseball games. “You just knew he was on your team.”
Weber’s devotion to the baseball program transcended watching games and extended to efforts to raise funds for the team, Cruz said.
“Any time there was something that we would try to do as a baseball program, Duke was one of the first ones to support us,” Cruz recalled.
The Loyola alumnus and sports fan was someone who was determined to give back to the university and provide opportunities for less fortunate students, according to an LMU athletics spokeswoman.
“It was his objective to provide opportunities for other young people,” Cruz said.
It was that ambition that led Weber to donate $300,000 to the university in 1999 to create three $100,000 athletics scholarships, the spokeswoman said.
The scholarships were made in the names of Weber, Hugh Boyle, a Loyola Hall of Fame baseball and basketball athlete who graduated in 1943, and Brian Quinn, a former Loyola athlete and athletic director who graduated in 1964.
“He was a generous and gracious person who cared about other people,” remembered Lloyd Torgerson, St. Monica Church pastor who spoke at Weber’s memorial service.
“To have a man who cared so much about young people is a wonderful thing.”
A graduate of Loyola High School in Los Angeles, Weber served as a major in the Marine Corps Reserve and received the Purple Heart medal with the Third Marine Division. He left several historic items to the LMU library system, including World War II mementos, newspaper archives and a collection of National Geographic magazines.
Weber was also recognized for his donations to other organizations that he had a connection with, including Loyola High School, St. Vincent’s Meals on Wheels program, Sisters of Nazareth, U.S. Catholic Conference National Retirement Fund, St. Andrew’s Abbey and St. Monica High School in Santa Monica.
Weber taught history, civics and business at St. Monica High from 1963 to 1966, according to the high school. He also worked in real estate investment during his career.
In retirement, Weber was an ardent researcher of all things healthful, his family said.