The Passing of a Giant

The King of the Backhand Slice (Crootof photo)

Family friend Jerry Ratledge shared the news we all have been sadly waiting to hear: “Kelli Turville asked us to help spread the sad word that Larry passed this morning at 4:41am.  He had been released from the hospital a few days ago into the care of Hospice.  His final words yesterday were that he wished to die in the arms of his loving wife.  That wish was granted this morning.”

For your information, we have been talking for a couple of weeks about ways to recognize Larry via the senior tournament circuit; as well as establishing a Go Fund Me page to raise money to help cover their outstanding medical expenses.  So, stay tuned for details on how you can help.

19 thoughts on “The Passing of a Giant

  1. This is sad news indeed and we wish strength and grace to Kelli and Larry’s family. He was indeed a giant in many ways.

  2. I am attending sectionals at the USTA Campus in Orlando. Won two matches today and read about Larry. Brings tears to my eyes and puts everything into perspective. God bless you Larry and Rest In Peace. We will all miss you!

  3. Larry was a champion on and off the court. It was an honor to play on Cup teams with him. My matches with him over the years were battles that I will always cherish. All my love and sympathy to Kelli, Ed and all the Turville family.

  4. Such a nice man….a tall and gentle giant. Loved the game of tennis and was a great ambassador for the game we all love.

  5. Met Larry a few times when he was playing in Europe and it was great to be in his company . I pass on the condolences of all of us Irish who were lucky enough to meet him . Tennis will be sadder place without Larry .

  6. Larry was a legend not only in his play but in his contributions to the game of tennis. He will be missed. I am proud to have been in his company.

  7. Larry’s presence will be missed sorely this coming tennis season. Always quick (but not too quick) with helpful insights for us lesser players, he was also a good friend willing to give of himself. I believe he will forever live on inside of us all.

  8. O My prayers go out to Kelli. Larry was one of those exceptional people who will be missed. I had the pleasure of competing against him and spending some time with him. Many of the top players don’t give the time of day to those not on their level. Larry gave more and then some and we have all benefited from that. I hope he finds a great place to play in his next journey.

  9. I was 10 years old the first time I heard the name Larry Turville, playing a junior tournament in Sarasota Fl. 60 years later Larry has left an indelible mark on the game of tennis through his love of the sport and outreach to all he came in contact with.

  10. Larry was a great guy and his wedding and party at Sterling Oaks was legendary. All us unseeded players in all the other divisions besides his were invited and it made a great party. I played a tournament in England years ago and we met this player from Ireland. He asked us if we knew Larry , and that Larry had hit some balls with his boy in Australia or someplace and he would always remember how cool Larry was , being a top seeded Anerican who took time to help a kid . He made every place he went a better place and we were so lucky to share so much time in Florida with him. Gentle Giant — we’ll miss you.

  11. I took Larry and Jose Brandi who was living with the Turville’s to St Pete High in my Volvo PV544 I bought from Tommy James because it had a cool Harvard sticker in back window. Later Larry joined me at Ga Tech with Chris Baxter. Fast forward 50 years I caught up with Larry and his fiancée Kellie at Asheville City Tournament where he told me a lot about the old Florida tennis players and his colorful career. I never knew anyone who loved the game of tennis more. I am sure you are still hitting the ball with grace now you have moved on.

  12. Judy and I were very lucky to have met Larry more than twenty five ago. Judy took lessons while Larry was head pro at Worthington Hills CC in Columbus, Ohio. Larry was very helpful to all our teams and set up fun matches with his good friend and former college tennis partner Chris Baxter. Chris was head pro at Muirfield CC. One year during this time Larry won the National hard courts, clay and grass in both singles and doubles. I hope Larry and Chris are now reunited and playing tennis above us all.Larry was a quiet, (gentle giant) friend and world champion. The tennis world will forever miss you big guy. Our sincere sympathy to Kelli and family.

  13. Larry and I are honored to read your beautiful messages of my loving husband. Thank you all for your kind messages, text, cards, and prayers throughout this difficult time. There’ll be a celebration memorial for Larry at SPCC March 2021, so pls continue to receive updates of the specific date via George’s senior tennis and fitness website.
    Thank you for being in our lives, and especially for your prayers for us.
    Love Kelli Turville

  14. Larry was just a great guy. After spending time with him, you always felt better. A spectacular tennis player and an even better human being. Kelli was magnificent with him “down the stretch”. He will be sorely missed by everyone he came into contact with….

  15. So very sorry to hear of Larry’s passing. He will be missed on the tennis courts and in tennis tournaments. As a past president of Friends of Tennis, Inc., Longboat Key Cat. 11 sponsor, I was able to get to know Larry in the last few years. Larry’s suggestions to me helped me improve our tennis tournament to make it more successful.

  16. Kelli, I’m sorry for your loss. Larry was a great man and a terrific competitor, I’ll miss him. Take care. Sincerely,

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