Deceased November 7, 2022

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In Memory

Ron came to Amherst after compiling a fine academic record at his high school in Stafford Springs, Conn. There he kept busy studying the piano, being a newspaper boy and working in his parents’ hardware store. As an undergraduate, Ron played freshmen basketball, was a member of Theta Delt and was active with the Intramural Council and Pre-Law Club. His major was American studies. Ron noted that Professor Earl Latham had inspired him. Following graduation, Ron went on to earn a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.

Ron then spent his working years in Cleveland, primarily as a trial litigator. It was then that he took up playing tennis. At first it was for exercise and a change of pace from the action of court rooms. As his three sons grew, Ron enjoyed teaching them the game he began to take seriously.

In 1997, Ron told me that he was retiring and moving to Florida to play professional tennis. This was like taking on a second career! Ron never accepted a half-hearted effort. He went all out at tennis, traveling the country half the year in his van, playing in the many tournaments that were available. That meant his weeks were full of drive, practice and play. His home in Sarasota was little more than a mail drop location!

When son Jeff became a fine player in his own right, he joined Ron in a very successful father-son duo. Together they won six national championships and were ranked #1 in the USTA National Father-Sons for four years.

In 2021, Ron was diagnosed with amyloidosis. He told me there was no cure, just control. The complications lead to Ron’s death on Nov. 7, 2022, in Sarasota. He is survived by three sons and their families.

Rob Sowersby ’55