We never know from one day to the next what may occur in the lives of our members. One day we are wishing each other Happy Holidays, the next we are grieving over loved ones that have passed from our lives. This has happened to the NSWTA in the loss of our beloved NSWTA Attorney, Margie Cooper. May she rest in peace.
This may not be the ordinary way a monthly newsletter should begin but Margie was not ordinary. She was one of NSWTA’s founding members as well as our legal counsel from the beginning. She gave us great support and guidance for many years without asking for any compensation. Her tennis history will forever be ingrained in our tennis annals as well as her dedication to her work.
One thing many may not know about Margie was her love of fishing. I had the pleasure of fishing with her and seeing the joy she had for this sport. She had an amazing admiration for fishing, just as she had for the game of tennis, her work or anything she chose in life, but I think fishing was the least of what many knew of her. She will be missed by so many in so many areas of life.
Many of us meet and get to know each other playing in the Les Grandes Dames series of Category II tournaments that take place each winter throughout Florida. These are smaller tournaments and very-user friendly. Margie played in many of these, even when she was too busy to play Category I tournaments. Les Grandes Dames at Palm Beach Gardens starts the series on January 17 followed by the Lamita Jabbour Cup at the Lauderdale Tennis Club February 6-10 and the JoAnne Russell February 19-23. The fourth of the series has recently been moved to October. It is named for Margie’s mother: The Barbara Cooper Cup presented by Les Grandes Dames. Join us in Florida this winter and fall and build memories.
See you on the courts.
Kathy Foulk, NSWTA President
Margaret L. (Margie) Cooper
April 13, 1950- January 4, 2019
Margie was a highly-ranked junior tennis player in Florida who went on to play Number 1 at Rollins College and then briefly played professionally on the Virginia Slims Tour. She competed in Wimbledon, the French Open and the U.S. Open. In 2013, she was one of the illustrious few given the prestigious USTA Service Bowl Award at the U.S. Open for her notable contributions to the “Sportsmanship, Fellowship, and Service of Tennis." She was the NSWTA Legal Counsel from its inception.
Margie was a partner in the law firm Jones, Foster, Johnson & Stubbs. She was a litigator and honored as one of the top Florida employment law specialists. But mostly, Margie will be remembered for being one of the funniest, warmest women in our small part of the tennis world.
From Sue Bramlette:
“I first met Margie at the Houston clay courts. Her enthusiasm was absolutely contagious. I remember Margie playing Daryl Gralka Lerner in a 4½ hour match. Margie used that determination throughout her life, but never more than when that cancer reared its ugly head. Every time she came to Houston to M.D. Anderson Cancer Hospital, she came out to the Racquet Club and we hit. She never lost her form even as she lost weight.
Margie was SOOO fun to be with! She could make any situation become hilarious. Who could ever forget the state of court 11 at Merion Cricket Club after Margie’s match? How about her presence at the “snack bar” at the Ft. Lauderdale Tennis Club? I can still hear her laugh, and hope that I always will. Margie lived every minute of her life to the fullest, from skiing to hiking, even dragging Pat Greer spelunking. Margie was fearless!
Margie’s home on the Intracoastal Waterway in West Palm Beach was ALWAYS full. From dancing to bridge to tennis, she invited the world to celebrate every day. One of her regular house guests was a family from Romania. Margie loved 18-year-old Alex Gima and flew him from Bucharest to Houston to play in the recent Amigos Cup. She was so proud of his tennis.
She was so generous. Somewhere along the way Margie decided I needed more stylish shoes. I now own 4 pairs of expensive Stubbs & Woottons! Margie could think of fun things to do, and then she actually DID them. Some years ago Margie called me at about 10:30 pm. She told me that we needed to go to Mallorca to play in the World Championships. I agreed and said I’d talk to Bob about it. She responded, “Well, get busy. The entry deadline is tonight at midnight!” It was a great trip! She was a really great friend to me, and I learned a lot from her. Rest in Peace, Margie.
From Kerry Young:
Margie and I were playing doubles at the Les Grande Dames in Orlando and her mom Barbara and my mom Pat were also playing. Margie and I were watching the moms’ match. The opponents threw up a lob and both moms stood at the net, watching the ball travel over their heads, neither moving a muscle as the ball dropped inside the baseline. I said that will be us someday and Margie replied I think it’s us now!
From Belmar Gunderson, an early member of NSWTA:
"Margie will be missed for many reasons, mostly because nobody loved a party more than Margie. She opened her home to countless tennis players and others for many years. We always loved tournaments in the Palm Beach area because we knew we had a fun place to stay, wonderful food and friends who congregated at her home. Margie was also a terrific tennis player with beautiful strokes. She will be missed for her good humor, wonderful smile and always her willingness to have a good time."
From Carol Clay:
“Margie was an epic warrior and fighter. She maintained a positive attitude for the duration of her illness. Even when she wasn't feeling good, she continued work, tennis and communication with family and friends.
I sat with her at the US Open in September and she was as animated and cheerful as ever.
I cherish my last visit with her in the hospital, which was very positive. She was totally coherent and we got her to tell funny stories from the past. There were seven of us in the room in hysterics, including Margie.
She felt she could beat it right up to the end and left us with grace and dignity. I kissed her cheek, told her I loved her and that I would be back in a few days. She took my hand, thanked me and said, "Please come back." This was a lesson to never put off anything in life, if at all possible. We can all learn from Margie who handled everything with grace and humor. She will be missed by so many from all walks of life.”
From Judi Stiff:
I met Coop about 30 years ago. It was a set-up match by my boss at the time. I was a young pro coming from Michigan, and I thought I was “all that." The match was to take place on center court, and Coop was 20 minutes late - and I was irritated. I didn’t know anything about Margie, except she was a member and a lawyer. All of a sudden I saw this women who was crossing the parking lot in long shorts and a tee shirt, carrying a paper bag and a outdated racquet, I thought - No Way! I allotted time for this? After warming up, she started drinking beer, and the more she had, the worse I got (or the better she got). I quickly realized I didn’t know how to play on clay courts. After a couple of hours and me winning a few points, we became fast friends. Any success over the years on clay, I always credited Margie with teaching me how to play. Margie will be missed by so many people...but I know she’s giving someone a clay court lesson in heaven.
From Pat Greer:
“I lost my best friend this week, and my first thought was, Margie is playing in heaven with the angels and teaching them a few new shots. Somehow that brought comfort. More than that, the outpouring of love, care, and empathy made me realize how lucky we are to have our friends and our wonderful tennis family.
Margie was a consummate tennis ambassador. She was always willing to pay it forward for anyone who showed the least bit of interest in tennis and especially when she saw a young person with exceptional talent. She always said that the sport gave her so much more than anything she could do in return, but she tried to even it out when she could.
Tears are words that the heart can't say and there have been plenty, but Margie was so full of life and fun and would want to be remembered with a smile, some laughter, a party and a beer before the third set. She was Captain Cooper to many who knew her off the court and loved her days on the Florida/Bahamas waters. She lived every day at full throttle and when not working away in her office on a full caseload, would grab her racquet and head for a tennis court.
She started out playing, along with her two brothers, on a court in North Miami with a new pro in his first job -- Nick Bollettieri. Nick knew immediately that those three children had a great deal of potential and they took to the sport like they were born to play the game. All three, as well as their younger sister, played top college tennis, Margie at Rollins College and her siblings for Clemson. Margie always said that wherever she went, she had instant friends when she walked onto a tennis court. It didn't matter what country or what language, the welcome was always there.
Life goes on, as it should, and the memories we make along the way are with us forever. Our loss goes deep, but not as deep as the love and the realization that those we lose are not lost. They are just playing the game at a higher level in a larger venue.”
Funeral services will be held on Monday, January 21 at 4:00 pm at Quattlebaum Funeral Home, 5411 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL. The family kindly requests no flowers. Instead, donations may be made to Rollins College, and designated for Women’s Tennis. Send checks to David Cooper at 1807 Barker Dr., Winter Park, FL 32789.
Margie and sister Libby
Palm Beach, 2016
Photo credit: Lu Fendig
2020 Friendship Cup
The Ralph and Mary Wilson Friendship Cup Application for the summer of 2020 is available now. Click here
Our Silent Auction is Coming Up!
Happy New Year! Hopefully you have had a great start to 2019. We are looking forward to seeing many of you in Houston, TX for the USTA National Clay Court Championships held March 25-31, 2019.
It is at this tournament that the National Senior Women’s Tennis Association (NSWTA) holds the annual Silent Auction which serves as one of our largest fundraising events. We hope that you will be generous with your donations as they will provide funds enabling the NSWTA to continue its important work throughout the year. Let’s make it even better than last year. If anyone would like to co-chair or help us with this event, please contact Margaret Lumia at email@example.com
Please fill out the Silent Auction Donation form and send your items together to:
Julie Gillaspie. 8406 Rayline Drive
Houston, TX 77055
(Or bring them along with you to the tournament)
Two New England Tournaments
Find New Homes
... The Hard Court Senior Slam will be held at the Guilford TC, Guilford, CT
from June 6-9. Matt Fraenza will be the tournament director as he was when it
was held at Yale. More info
... the Grass Senior Slam will be held Sept 12-15 at the Essex County Club, Manchester by the Sea More info
...The Clay Senior Slam remains at the Concord CC, but will be split between two weekends, one in July and one in August.
National Age Division Tournaments Open to IPIN Members
The USTA Category I Nationals for ages 35-85 men, women, and mixed will have Grade A status in 2019. In addition, 10 other Super Category II Tournaments (tba) will have Grade 1 Status in 2019.
◦ Only players who have purchased an IPIN (itftennis.com/IPIN) prior to the start of the tournament ($25) will receive ITF points
2019 ITF Seniors World Championships
The ITF are pleased to announce the locations for the following tournaments:
Men's Senior Tennis Website
Stay in touch with the National Senior Men's Tennis Association (NSMTA) at www.nsmta.net.
Enter "National Senior Womens Tennis
Foundation" in the Search field.
Looking For Tennis
CuteTennisStuff.com provides tennis gifts and accessories, and now NSWTA Logo apparel and merchandise in the Tennis League Wear section. Enter promo code “NSWTA” and receive free shipping on your entire order of $25 or more! Start shopping! click here
Created by NSWTA member Lois Harris and Kathy Wicks.