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Sidney Welby Van Horn

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Sidney Welby Van Horn Obituary
September 8, 1920 - September 17, 2014 Sidney Welby Van Horn, age 94, the legendary American tennis coach and former top 4 world class tennis player, passed away on September 17, 2014, in Hospice care at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach, FL. Welby was born in Los Angeles, CA on September 8, 1920 to the late Sidney Stuart Van Horn and Trella Irene (Anderson) Van Horn-Haugen. Having started out as a baseball player with a tremendous pitch, Welby turned to tennis in his early teens and rose to become a world class tennis player. Although he did try out for the Red Sox as a pitcher in 1939, his finals appearance in singles at the US National Championships that year convinced him to stick with tennis. During his amateur (1938-1941) and professional (1942-1951) tennis playing career, he played against such greats as Bill Tilden, Ellsworth Vines, Fred Perry, Don Budge, Bobby Riggs, Jack Kramer, Frank Kovacs, Pancho Segura, and Pancho Gonzalez. Upon retiring from the professional tour in 1951, he turned his full time attention to becoming a tennis coach, and moved to San Juan, PR where he lived until 1991. His coaching acumen and style resulted in developing Puerto Rican junior tennis into a US national championship power house and put Puerto Rico on the world tennis map. Between 1971 and 1991, Welby ran summer tennis camps at the Choate School (Connecticut), Pinehurst Country Club (North Carolina), and the Boca Raton Resort and Club (Florida). While in semi-retirement, from 1991 until his passing, he was Tennis Professional Emeritus at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Palm Springs, CA. While his students were his inspiration and coaching tennis was a passion, he was also an avid golfer and loved being on the golf course competing against his friends and old tennis pals. He was a member of the USTA, USPTA, USGA, Puerto Rico Sports Hall of Fame, Puerto Rico Tennis Hall of Fame, USPTA Hall of Fame, Dorado Beach Golf and Country Club (PR), and Mission Hills Country Club (Palm Springs). Welby will be greatly missed by his friends; his sons, Stuart Van Horn and Bryce Van Horn, their wives, Kathleen Van Horn and Lisa Van Horn; his grandchildren, Shane, Megan, Natalie, Liam; his step-grandchildren, Julia, Quinlan; and his nephews Tommie and Terri Benefield. Cremation was handled by Edgley Cremation Services and a private family remembrance ceremony was held in West Palm Beach, FL on September 27, 2014.Additional remembrance ceremonies for friends are planned at a later date in Palm Springs, CA and San Juan, PR. To express condolences, see announcement of remembrance ceremonies, and/or make donations: Visit memorialwebsites.legacy.com/welbyvanhorn.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Sept. 30 to Oct. 5, 2014
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