Remembering dick Walther
1922 - 2021
This morning I woke up to the sad news of the passing of our dear friend Dick Walther. On the positive side, we had just face timed with him a few weeks ago and he was ever the optimistic, kind, caring, and curious Dick that we all admired and loved.
Where do I start? I met Dick when we first moved to Summit in 1994. Lucky for me as he immediately took me under wing as my tennis coach, my dear friend, and most importantly, the kindest soul I’ve ever met. Shortly thereafter, I introduced him to the newly formed Summit Tennis Association – and true to Dick’s form – he took the ball and ran with it. There was nothing that Dick wouldn’t do to spread the joy of playing tennis. I can’t even begin to list the programs and initiatives that he implemented. Just as soon as one program was under way he would come up with another way to expand tennis in our community. He absolutely loved the sport of tennis and couldn’t have been a more encouraging and enthusiastic advocate for the sport.
That the Summit Tennis Association was awarded the top community tennis program by the USTA was entirely due to Dick’s crusade to make sure every man, woman, and child had an opportunity to hold a racquet and give it a try. It was his positive energy and encouragement that brought us all together to join in his mission. Some of my fondest memories are of trying to convince Dick that not everybody wanted to devote every minute of every day to promoting and playing tennis. He just couldn’t understand! He was driven and determined and we loved that about him. You could not say no to Dick. He was of the mindset that nothing was out of the question, it was just a matter of figuring out the logistics. And, he was right. That the Summit Tennis Association continues to thrive is a tribute to a man who wouldn’t give up and would do anything to share his joy of the game.
On a personal level, Dick was kind, thoughtful, and would do anything for anyone. He always wanted to know what was going on with you. What was on your mind. What was new. He was sincerely interested and curious. Dick was a doer not a talker. If you wanted something done, he was the one to do it. He had a wonderful sense of humor and just loved being around people. He would brighten any gathering with his easy manner and wise sensibility. We loved Dick and will miss him terribly. Luckily, he forced me to play the net, while kicking and screaming. Every time I am at the net I know he will continue to be there encouraging me.
Dick was loved and admired by so many. He will be missed terribly.
May 16, 2021