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Lowcountry Loses Two Tennis Greats

March 2, 2010 03:58 PM

Two of the Founding Fathers of Walterboro tennis have passed away. Sonny Miller passed away on February 21st and Tommy Goodwin passed away on February 22nd.

Sonny and Tommy both touched the lives of Lowcountry Citizens in numerous positive venues as businessmen and avid sportsman.

Sonny Miller was an excellent athlete, and loved all sports, particularly baseball, basketball and tennis. He was designated as a "Palmetto Gentleman" and awarded the Order of the Palmetto, South Carolina's highest civilian award, by Governor John West in 1971. He loved coaching, and spent many years coaching Dixie Youth and little league baseball in Walterboro. He played competitive tennis for many years, and he and his daughter Kim won numerous mixed doubles titles playing together. If he loved anything more than sports, it would be boats and the sea. He loved offshore fishing, and in his later years nothing pleased him more than cruising the waters around his beloved Edisto Beach in his boat Orca III.

Tommy Godwin was a dedicated Bass Fisherman and loved competitive sports of all types. Throughout the 1960's and the 1970's he won various medals, and placed several times in the World Skeet Championships in the 20 Ga. division and was the South Carolina State Champion in the 12 Ga. division. Tommy was a former little league coach, and a Greenwing Instructor for Ducks Unlimited. In addition, he was a tennis coach for John C. Calhoun Academy and a very successful coach for USTA 2.5 and 3.0 adult women's teams playing in the Lowcountry Tennis Association for over twenty-five years.

The Lowcountry tennis community will remember them best for their contributions on the tennis courts as peers, competitors, mentors, coaches, friends and most importantly, ambassadors for the game we love and strong advocates for recreational tennis.