Richard Melvin "Dick" Johnson
1944 - 2019
Kirkwood, MO
Richard "Dick" Melvin Johnson 1944—2019
Richard "Dick" Melvin Johnson, 74, died peacefully in his sleep Monday, April 8, 2019 at his home in Ballwin.
Dick will be sadly missed by his wife of 35 years, Liz (Erickson); sons Jeff and Greg (Amy); grandchildren Ellie, William, Matthew and Lotte; brother Herb (Lois); extended family; and friends around the world.
Dick was a native of Rockford, Illinois. His livelihood and lifelong passion was tennis. He was head tennis pro at St. Louis Country Club for 30 years, retiring in 2014. Over the course of his competitive career, Dick amassed 44 U.S. national titles and competed on six continents. He has been inducted into the St. Louis Tennis Hall of Fame, the USTA Missouri Valley Tennis Hall of Fame, and the Kalamazoo College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Visitation will be Thursday, April 11, from 4-8p, at Bopp Chapel, 10610 Manchester Rd. Kirkwood, MO.
A memorial ceremony and celebration of Dick's life is being hosted by his tennis friends on Saturday, May 4, from 5-9p, at Creve Coeur Racquet Club in St. Louis.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Dick can be made to the Triple A Youth Foundation, c/o Scott Hunt, 7700 Forsyth Blvd., Suite 1800, Clayton, MO 63105.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Rockford Register Star from Apr. 10 to Apr. 12, 2019.
4:00p.m. - 8:00p.m.
10610 MANCHESTER RD, Kirkwood, MO
Celebration of Life
5:00p.m. - 9:00p.m.
Creve Coeur Racquet Club
, St. Louis, IL
Funeral services provided by:
Sponsored by BOPP CHAPEL.
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23 Entries
Elizabeth Johnson
April 4, 2021
Dick was the younger brother of my neighborhood friend near Andrews Park. He, his brother, my brother, and I learned to play tennis at Andrews at the same time, and would go to age bracketed tennis tournaments in town. I quickly learned not to play against Dick, even though he was younger than me. Over the years, I've kept up with Dick's many achievements through his brother Herb. Our sympathies and prayers to his family.
Ron & Evelyn Gantz
May 7, 2019
Richard & Faye Svedeman
April 29, 2019
We still remember all the great moments we allowed to spend with Dick and Liz. We became friends in 1996 when we moved over to St. Louis for 1 year. Since then we have spent so much time together on vistis in the US as well in Germany where we hosted him on and off during his time when being on his European Tennis tournament trips.
He was a true friend and we enjoyed every minute with him. He volunteered playing tennis with us which we enjoyed very much as he was showing us in a very courteous and humble way, how to do better.
We are so sad that he left us much too early, but I think it is in his interest to look forward, to the bright side of life as this was his way of thinking.
We will miss you.
Claudia, Sven, Franzi, Alexa, Niklas
April 27, 2019
It was 2014 when a friend from my tennis club asked me if I could hit some balls with an American friend of hers who was preparing for some European tournaments. Little did I know that I would not only improve my own game over time but I would win two very dear friends. Liz and Dick, you have enriched my family and me with your friendship, your kindness and open-heartedness, your curiosity and your anecdotes from your travels. You brought the world to our doorstep and I feel so fortunate to have been able to spend time with you. There will be a big gap in my life from now on. Sending you much love from Germany, dear Liz - we will meet again; I am sure of it.
Tanja, Wulf, Max, Nick & Eva
Usingen, GERMANY
Tanja Schaper-Rinkel
April 17, 2019
The man was a class act. He was humble about his own tennis accomplishments but praising of others, no matter the skill level.
John Moulton
April 14, 2019
Went to junior high and some high school with Dick. I worked with Dick at the racquet club teaching racquetball. We played racquetball a few times,but laughed and kidded each other about the differences in the two games. Such a special person to always look up too. Miss you dear friend. Deepest condolences to your family.
Kathy Bowerman
April 14, 2019
Dick Johnson, A great player, a great competitor, a greater person. He will be sorely missed!
Rod Schroeder
April 14, 2019
Dear family, my brother Jim and I played tennis with Dick in olden days before he became a star. He was a wonderful player with an overspin serve that you had to hit on the bounce He will be missed Richard Coppoletti
April 13, 2019
So sorry to hear this sad news. I will always remember the fond memories of rooming with Dick, Bob Pursel, and Jim Peters at Kalamazoo College. While Dick was a renowned tennis athlete, I remember him also as a great guard on the K-College basketball team. A great athlete, great friend......RIP my friend.
Dean Dingman
April 12, 2019
Rest in peace Dick. What a talent and what a gentleman. You were my inspiration at Andrews Park from grade school on. You will be missed.
Dennis Cook
April 12, 2019
Dick was one of the kindest people I met. He was so patient when teaching tennis and you could tell that his heart was in the sport. He loved seeing players develop. An all round great guy.

Fitz Gordon
Fitz Gordon
April 12, 2019
As a child I grew up near Dick's house and the local Andrews Park tennis courts where we all played. Despite being fairly good at tennis, I was nowhere near the caliber of player that Dick was.

I remember vowing and dreaming at the time, that one day, even if it took me to age 70, I would be able to beat Dick.

Then, some 60 years later, I saw an article in the local Rockford newspaper about a hometown tennis player named Dick Johnson, who, at the age of 70, was ranked #1 in the entire world in his age category....end of dream, end of story.

Rest in peace, Dick.
Roger Weissenberg
April 12, 2019
As a child, I grew up near Dick and the local Andrews Park tennis courts where we all played. Despite being fairly good at tennis, I was nowhere near the caliber of player that Dick was.

I remember vowing and dreaming at the time, that one day, even if it took me to age 70, I would be able to beat Dick. Then, some 60 years later, I happened to see an article in the local Rockford newspaper, that a hometown tennis player named Dick Johnson, at age 70, was now ranked #1 in the entire world in that age category....end of dream, end of story.

Rest in peace, Dick.

Roger Weissenberg
Roger Weissenberg
April 12, 2019
Armistead and I are so saddened by the news of Dick's passing. Armistead played senior tennis with Dick for years. We will miss his smile and the twinkle in his eyes.
Our hearts go out to Liz and the family.
Alice and Armistead Neely
Atlanta Georgia
April 12, 2019
It has been a privilege to know Dick and to share his company during several European tournaments and IC weeks. You were special to us and you will be sadly missed...
Liz, you are in our thoughts and you will remain our friend forever.
Evelyne and Michel LECLERCQ
April 12, 2019
April 11, 2019
One of the classiest acts I have ever met, you will be missed tremendously! Liz and family, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Debbie Kruger
April 11, 2019
Dick was a role model for any tennis player that resided in or around the Rockford, Illinois area. I personally looked up to him and have very fond memories. He called me the Horse and we played doubles together on several occasions, plus competed in singles. We paired up together to take on Pros Tim and Tom Gullikson in an exhibition at my club. My funniest memory was three of us rooming together during an indoor tournament and having to flip a coin to see which one of us would sleep on the floor. Since he loved nice accommodations, it was hilarious that he slept on the floor that night. My thoughts and prayers are with Dick's family at this sad time.
Dan Wikse
April 11, 2019
I went to junior high and high school with dick in Rockford 1957to 1962. Not only was he a great tennis player he was also a star basketball player. I have lived in ballwin for 40 years and always wondered if that was dick from Rockford. Now I know. Very sorry for your loss. Tom Street
Tom Street
April 11, 2019
I will miss Dick and I will alway remember he told me once that when he dies he wants to come back as a golf pro or a Ladue house wife. He was a great tennis player and a great boss.
Kevi Harwood
April 11, 2019
The Orthwein Family is so sad at this unexpected news. Dick was a major part of our family's growing up years. Dick was always the kindest, most patient great player and teacher of all times. His love and respect of the game was always his message to all of those in his life. Liz and all, please know our thoughts and prayers are with you. Ginny (Steve) Stevie, Robert & Danny Orthwein
April 11, 2019
One of the best weeks of my life was when Dick, Whitney Reed, Tom Kiss, my ex Marsha, and Dennis Hennessey took advantage of an all expense trip to Brazil for the South American Championships. Will never forget that wonderful week!
Gil Howard
April 10, 2019
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