Ken a source of inspiration

by Bob Pfaender

Ken has always been a source of inspiration to me. I remember playing in his first ever ( I of course didn’t realize at the time) big FTA (then) junior tournament I believe in 1968 or 69 ? Being at this big beautiful club in Sarasota (great road trip on the circuit from my home in Winter Park) was a huge thrill for me. That is when I first met Ken. I had also been part of his junior excellence camp that he organized that summer with Chris Baxter and Larry Turville. Can’t remember exactly where it was but may have been at USF because we stayed in dorms. They worked us out pretty darn hard ! And I knew Tori during those days in the juniors as well. Tori of course went on to her fantastic position at Prince and never wavered from Ken’s tutelage. I later worked closely with her when I lived in California and was working for Penn. The love that Ken had for her was a beautiful thing. I will never forget how heart broken he was when she passed away.

He pioneered and promoted the game of tennis to so many thousands of people. That ‘love of the game’ that he passed on, still lives in all of those people and beyond as they made sure to pass it along to their children and families. He touched so many people in such a positive way. He had a gift and a passion for tennis that we rarely see. The sacrifices he made to build the club, and keep it going during hard times, is a lesson to hard work, dedication, and believing in something so deeply that you will do anything it takes to insure it’s future. He leaves a legendary legacy to all of us that care about tennis, family, and doing what is right in life. I will miss our wonderful talks at the club (actually I never did much of the talking but why bother when what you are listening to is history and life lessons).

He was always an inspiration to me that what I was doing for tennis was the right thing. I look forward to seeing you both sometime very soon and reminiscing some more about his wonderful life.

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