Betty and Charles Turner, Jr.
FORMATION OF THE LOUISIANA TENNIS ASSOCIATION
The LTA Evolution: by Charles Turner
The LTA, as most people know, started in the early 1970’s. It was managed by a small group of dedicated tennis players who gave up their time and energy to help grow the game of tennis in Louisiana.
Meetings were first held in private homes and were soon know as “kitchen table meetings.” Of those people designated to be representatives of the sport were Red Dumesnil and Bing Delatte in Lafayette and Dan Sandifer in Shreveport.
The first organized meetings were held at Pierremont Oaks Tennis Club, in 1975, with Dan Sandifer conducting the business. Bing Delatte, the 1973/74 President, Dan Sandifer’s father-in-law, Charles and Betty Turner, Gordon Traylor, Jerry Montgomery and Madelyn Boustany were in attendance. These were the people who led the fortunes of the LTA during 1975/76.
In 1977 Madelyn Boustany assumed the office of President and things began to happen. She requested Billy O. Wilson, a Baton Rouge Attorney and avid tennis player, to incorporate and establish by-laws that we could operate under. Growth after that was outstanding. Meetings were held on a quarterly basis, generally at the Bocage Racquet Club, in Baton Rouge, due to the central location.
In 1979 Mr. Jim Kirby was President and meetings were held in his office in Baton Rouge, with the Annual Meeting at Bocage. Tennis was starting to catch fire because of players like Connors, Borge, and McEnroe leading the nation’s interest, and players in Louisiana were growing in great numbers. About this time the USTA/STA began to funnel money to the states to support growth and we established the LTA office in 1981 in a motel suite and then later in an office- building suite provided by Susan Dornier on Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge.
In 1985, during Charles Turner’s term as President and with efforts of Sally and Tom Fink, the LTA relocated to the Harrell’s Ferry address and remained there until 1995. During this time President Betty Turner, Sally Fink, and Red Dumesnil worked to purchase the first office on Teddy Drive. When Mike McNulty was President, through the efforts of Mike, Wayne Bono, and Kathy Hinrichs, the LTA owns its second structure located on Siegen Lane in Baton Rouge. The office supports a staff of 5 people and efforts of many volunteers.
In New Orleans City Park, the street just north of the original Tennis Clubhouse, is named “ Betty & Charles Turner Lane.”
The following article was published in the LOUISIANA TENNIS NEWS, Vo.6, No. 1 in March of 1984.
The Charles Turner Family of Metairie has again been recognized as LTA Family of the Year for 1983. Because of their contribution to and accomplishments in tennis for several years, the STA chose them as most outstanding among their nine districts. Their name will now be submitted by the STA to compete on a national level, for recognition as the USTA Family of the Year. Louisiana is very proud of the Turners and wishes then the best in the national competition.
The Turner family has indeed been very actively involved in tennis in many ways over the last ten years. A family of four, they are well known throughout the state and have many loyal friends.
The head of the clan is CHARLES. He has been on the LTA Executive Committee for 11 years and is now serving as one of the Vice Presidents of our state organization. Charles has been on the Ranking Committee for eight years and has served as chairman for four of those years. The Sugar Bowl tournament has appreciably benefited from Mr. Turner’s considerable talents. He has been an official of that event for eight years and functioned for the past two years as Draw Chairman and Referee. Charles has also been a card-carrying USTA referee and has officiated several pro events held in New Orleans, as well as the Borg-Connors match played in Baton Rouge. Like every member of his family, he has been ranked in the LTA and is an avid tournament tennis player.
BETTY TURNER is wife and mother to our Family of the Year. She is one of the most hospitable, genuine people in the LTA. She is everyone’s favorite! Along with her husband and two
Sons, she conducted the Louisiana State Closed Tournament in New Orleans from 1973-80. Mrs. Turner has been very active in junior development in New Orleans and has organized and conducted programs for clubs and public facilities. Like her husband, she has been very instrumental in the success of the Sugar Bowl Tennis Tournament. She is tireless, hard working, enthusiastic, and unselfish. She has contributed a great deal to the LTA, particularly as the Ranking Committee member and as the Scholarship Committee Chairman.
TROY and GARY are the two sons in the family. Troy is 21 and played competitive tennis in all the junior divisions throughout the state. He was ranked in singles or doubles in every age group. He is an expert racket stringer and has been involved in the tournament operations of several events. His younger brother Gary, 19, has been ranked very high in the LTA in several divisions. He played for De LaSalle High School and was chosen his senior year as Most Valuable Player.
We salute the Turner Family for the significant contributions that they have made to Louisiana tennis the past eleven years and recognize Mr. Turner as a very fair, highly principled individual whose strength of personality has helped mold the LTA into a more viable, business-like organization. To his fine wife and sons, we recognize the friendship they have offered to so many and the enjoyment and love for the game that they have shared with all.
The following is a portion of the Obituary published in the New Orleans Picayune on October 26, 1997.
Betty Turner, a local championship tennis player, promoter and ambassador for the Game throughout Louisiana, died Friday of cancer at East Jefferson General Hospital. She was 62.
Mrs. Turner was born in New Orleans and lived in Metairie for many years.
She began playing competitively in 1970, and she and her husband Charles W. Turner Jr. were inducted into the Louisiana Tennis Hall of Fame on May 14, 1997, for their contributions to the Game. Mr. Turner said he and his wife dedicated their lives to tennis. “We thought we would do what we could for the Game. We gave our time and energy to promote tennis.”
Mrs. Turner was the “heart of Louisiana tennis,” said her tennis partner Bess Roos.
Mrs. Turner began working with the Louisiana Tennis Association in 1973 as Ranking College Chairwoman and Secretary. She also served on the Association Board of Directors and served as the group’s Executive Vice-President. She was Association President in 1995-96 and helped acquire the zoning necessary for the LTA office in Baton Rouge, a long-time goal of the Association.
She was also chairwoman of the Southern Tennis Association Men’s Ranking Committee from 1988-96 and was a member of the United States Tennis Association Senior’s Ranking Committee for five years. She was President of the New Orleans Tennis Club at the time of her death. Mrs. Turner was coordinator of the Virginia Slims of New Orleans Tournament for four years and, along with her husband, served as Directors of the USF&G Sugar Bowl Tennis Committee for the past three years. She won several tennis championships, including the 1984 NOTC League Championship, the Louisiana State Hard-court Championship, the Louisiana Closed Doubles Championship, and the Louisiana Clay court Championship. Besides her husband, survivors included two sons, Troy and Gary, and her mother Corinne Sallettes Gross.
The following is a portion of the Obituary published in the New Orleans Picayune in September, 2010.
Charles William Turner, Jr. retired Architect, passed away on Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at the age of eighty.
He graduated from Francis T. Nichols High School and received his architecture degree from Tulane University. He was employed by the United States Government, and the Department of the Navy’s Architecture and Engineering Division.
He was an avid member of the national, regional, state and local tennis associations for a combined thirty-nine years. He served in many capacities as a member of the United States Tennis Association Ranking Committee and the Southern Association Tennis Association Ranking Committee, Grievance and Disciplinary Committees. He was President of the Louisiana Tennis Association, Chairman of the LTA Patrons Foundation, President of the City Park Tennis Club in 1977, founder of the Betty Turner Sportsmanship Award and was a twenty-eight year member of the New Orleans Lawn Tennis Club.