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This week, the world lost a great man, a great supporter of tennis, and the Tennis Parent I aspired to be when Steve Johnson, Sr. passed away.
I first met Steve at the NCAA Championships in Athens, GA when he was on a panel for parents and high school-age players who were interested in learning more about college tennis. After the panel discussion, my husband and I spoke with Steve and thanked him for his candor. I never guessed that would be the beginning of a friendship that would find us together at the US Open, Indian Wells, the Easter Bowl, and at a variety of college matches in Southern California.
Whenever I traveled to SoCal, I would always let Steve know I was coming to “his coast” in hopes that we would have a chance to meet up and catch up. If he wasn’t too busy teaching tennis lessons or spending time with his family, he would make the effort to find a way to come to wherever I was and say hello. The last time was at the Boise State-UC Irvine match just a few weeks ago.
I will miss Steve’s friendship and his council. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Michelle, and his two well-loved children, Alison and Stevie. Godspeed, my friend.