In Memoriam: LaRoy Doss '59 Former Gael Basketball Player and College Trustee and Regent
LaRoy Doss '59, who left an indelible mark on Saint Mary's as a student, athlete, and dedicated friend, died on September 7, 2004. He was 67.
Born on October 6, 1936, Doss attended Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco and graduated from the College in 1959 with a degree in psychology. As a member of the basketball team, he was part of a storied group of Gaels who reached the "Elite Eight" in the 1959 NCAA Tournament. Among the first African-Americans to compete for Saint Mary's, Doss averaged 14.8 points and 9.2 rebounds per game over three seasons, He also ended his career in third place on Saint Mary's all-time scoring list with 1,139 points.
In 1963, Doss joined a local car dealership, and nine years later he purchased Pittsburg Ford. He was a founder of the Ford Lincoln Mercury Minority Dealers Association, of which he became chairman and president. Doss received numerous awards for contributions and service to the community. In 1978 he was named one of the top 100 U.S. black businessmen by Black Enterprise magazine, and was recognized for this achievement by President Jimmy Carter during a White House ceremony.
As a devoted friend of Saint Mary's College, Doss served on its Alumni Board of Directors, Board of Regents, and Board of Trustees. He was the first African American to serve on its Board of Trustees. In 1979, he was awarded the Signum Fidei Award. This September 24, 2004, Doss will be honored posthumously as Saint Mary's Alumnus of the Year, given annually to an alumnus or alumna for his or her professional accomplishments and consistent service to the College.
Doss is remembered fondly by many throughout the Saint Mary's community. College President Brother Craig Franz, FSC, PhD observed that "Laroy Doss was the quintessential Gael - he made his mark as a student, as a member of one of our most noteworthy basketball teams, and as a devoted regent and trustee. He continued to serve the College and surrounding community throughout his adult life. We are deeply saddened by his passing."
Linda Wobbe, Saint Mary's College archivist, recalled that Doss was particularly popular among students, who often called him when doing research about the experiences of the first African American athletes on the campus. He was always generous with his time, she said, describing him as "very sweet and a positive person."
Doss is survived by wife, Mary; daughter, Gwendolyn, who also attended Saint Mary's College; four grandchildren, and numerous relatives and friends. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, friends of LaRoy Doss make contributions to their favorite charities.