Tennis Couples enjoy game and friendship


Penny Petersen

What’s good for your heart, muscles and making friends? Tennis! In the Cottonwood Tennis Club, there are 28 couples who make tennis an enjoyable part of their lives together. We picked three and asked them about themselves.

Horst and Dorothea Flachsmann came to Sun Lakes as snowbirds in 1997. They originally lived in Sun Lakes Country Club where they first learned tennis. Cottonwood Palo Verde, became their permanent home in 2007. Their son Armin also lives in Sun Lakes and plays tennis.

The Flachsmanns are originally from Germany and immigrated to the U.S. in 1963. They had to have physical exams, a sponsor and were required to have an occupation that was needed so they wouldn’t be a burden to the government. They settled in Denver, Colorado, with a green card and $2,000 and lived there 44 years. Both worked for Samsonite. They celebrate 60 years of marriage.

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Horst and Dorothea play tennis several times a week. Dorothea has been a league captain and also an organized play coordinator. Horst is a willing volunteer in many areas.

Among their other interests are travel (they’ve gone back many times to Europe, since they still have family and friends there, and tours to Spain and England). They enjoy Sun Lakes amenities, theatre, music and other entertainment. They spend time in Logan during the summer.

Bruce and Susan Garman met in Colorado Springs and have been married 30 years. Bruce was a space systems software manager and Susan a human resources manager. They purchased in Cottonwood in August of 2010 and spend summers in Colorado. Both joined the Cottonwood Tennis Club in October, 2010, and play multiple times per week. Bruce has been on the tournament committee. Susan has been a league captain and is currently a Rating’s Committee volunteer. Both can also be seen working frequently in the food court.

The Garmans enjoy hiking, snowshoeing and traveling to foreign destinations. They have climbed many 14,000-ft. mountains in Colorado and also climbed Huayna Picchu: The Stairs of Death (the mountain above Machu Picchu in Peru). Also extremely important is spending time with their blended family of three daughters, one son and 10 grandchildren ranging in age from 6 to 22. The three daughters are in Colorado, while the son resides in Maryland.

Doug and Sylvia Page jumped right into tennis, golf and many other activities when they bought in Cottonwood in February, 2009. They had rented the previous year and after only two weeks as members of CTC, they decided they’d never find a better place. They are snowbirds and spend summers in Windermere, British Columbia, Canada, their permanent residence. As Canadians, they can only stay for 180 days before returning home.

Sylvia learned to play tennis in her 20s but didn’t play while raising a family. When they retired, Sylvia returned to tennis, and Doug took up the game. Sylvia has served as President and Past President of CTC and “Sunshine Lady.” Doug is always there helping set up and do whatever needs done.

Both play golf. At home, they spend time with grandkids. Doug is passionate about his woodworking shop. Sylvia loves gardening and feels it is relaxing and therapeutic.

Doug and Sylvia met at the University of Alberta, Canada, in a French class (both needed an arts course. His program was math, hers physical therapy). They have been married for 42 years. Before retiring, Doug had his own company, Andiamo Systems, which developed software systems. Sylvia was a physical therapist.