A good man gone

Bob Hirt

Going out for a “cup of joe” and a little exercise that morning, he hopped onto his bike and headed leisurely west on the heavily trafficked road.

He knew it was going to be busy day with friends and neighbors in monitoring another tennis match. He loved that game with a passion that never left him even though he was well into his ‘70s. Seldom does one find that kind of passion and enduring dedication. That person was Don Neu.

An accomplished tennis pro and teacher who organized and supervised tournaments and neighborhood games alike, he seldom missed a chance to be there, to lend advice or be available to fill in, and always with that ready smile and friendly countenance that would never be quelled.

Here was a man who was not only liked but truly loved – loved deeply by everyone who came under his umbrella, one way or another. It seems that virtually everyone knew Don Neu.

And now his life has ended tragically, a victim of an errant automobile. The news of, but more, the facts behind this horrific accident has slammed into our lives abruptly; it wants to, it needs to register inside each of us but our psyche resists. Within the tennis community and even outside of the tennis community it has hit us deeply, a gut punch. A pall of sadness hangs over us still now, a lingering malaise that defies explanation or reason. And, sadly, there was not even a short moment for him to say a final good-bye.

Don, you will be greatly missed for your wonderful and gentle ways, for the caliber of man you were and for the way you presented yourself to others in our community. Your heart will stay with us for many, many years. God be with you, dear friend.