Playing After 100

Larry Turville relayed the great story of Roger Gentilhomme, whose funeral is today in Massachusetts. If we can learn something from the lives of others, check this one out…

According to a piece in the Boston Globe, “The year after he retired, Roger Gentilhomme went to the recreation center near his winter home in Dunedin, Fla., and on a whim took a tennis lesson.

It was as if the game awaited his arrival. Mr. Gentilhomme began a 36-year run as an athlete, competing in tennis, bowling, and shuffleboard at senior games and collecting 40 gold medals as he traveled across the country and around the world.

“Once he found out about it, he never looked back,’’ said his daughter, Calla Jean Schaefer Adams. “He never could get enough tennis and played almost every day until a few months ago. He was out every morning.’’

Lynn Salus, of the USTA Florida writes, “For those of you that were at our Annual Meeting two years ago and met Roger Gentilhomme (our centurion tennis player) I wanted to share the information below on his passing. His funeral is tomorrow [June 24] in MA. If you would like to send a note to his family please send it to Calla Jean and Doug Adams at 348 Acapesket Rd; Falmouth, MA 02536. Our foundation and STL committee will be making a donation in his memory on behalf of USTA Florida to the Roger Gentilhomme Foundation which will support the Leslie S. T. Fang Research Foundation at Mass General Hospital and also provide travel assistance to super-senior tennis athletes in order to compete in the biannual National Senior Games Association.”

3 thoughts on “Playing After 100

  1. George,
    I watched Roger lose to a 95-year-old in the 95+ age group (they were the only two entrants) at the last National Senior Games at Stanford. They had the largest, most enthusiastic audience of all the matches.

  2. Tom

    another friend wrote me: I saw Roger at the Senior Olympics in Palo Alto on August 8, 2009. Roger had just received a featured award from the National Senior Games at Maples Pavilion and Sandi tracked him down for a picture.
    Roger won the 100+ singles (he was the only one entered in that age division) and played a 94 year old in the tournament on the hard courts at the Stanford tennis stadium on a hot day.

    He also had the following web site

    He seemed like a very personable man. We are sorry to hear of his passing.

  3. Hi George,
    Played in the senior games in Houston this past week and the program listed Roger as the oldest athlete competing (102). He was scheduled to play singles/doubles tennis and singles bowling. Obviously, program printed before his passing. Amazing guy. Wish I’d had a chance to meet him.
    All the best and thanks for your interesting columns!

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