Charles W. Oliver, 91, formerly of Jeffersonville, a retired Army officer who was the tennis pro at the Philadelphia Cricket Club for 14 years, died Nov. 2 at the Falcon’s Landing Retirement Community in Potomac Falls, Va., where he had been living with his wife, Ethel, for the past seven years.
Mr. Oliver retired from the Army in 1947 with the rank of Colonel, completing a 30-year military career that included service in Japan during the Korean War, chief of staff for the commander of the USAF, Europe, and, for many years, head of the physical education department and deputy athletic director at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he was involved in establishing the U.S. Olympic Training Center. For his service he was awarded the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.
In retirement he served as tennis pro at the Philadelphia Cricket Club from 1976 to 1990 and mentored many future tennis pros, including Lisa Raymond, who was his student from the time she was 8 years old until she entered the University of Florida in Gainesville.
Born in Perth Amboy, N.J., he graduated from Perth Amboy High School and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He also attended the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and received a master’s degree in physical education from Columbia University and a doctorate in education from the University of North Carolina.
Mr. Oliver was a top tennis player in the United States from his freshman year in high school through college, when he defeated three Wimbleton champions. He was a member of the U.S. Senior Davis Cup team in the 1990s and was inducted into multiple tennis halls of fame.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by five children; 12 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18, at Falcon’s Landing, with future interment at Arlington Cemetery, Va. – WF