Wally Piekarski

Wally Piekarski
(Inducted In: 2015)

Wally was born in Chicago on March 22, 1929 and grew up in the Back-of-the-Yards neighborhood where he was always involved in some type of sport. He attended Tilden Technical H.S. where he scored a record 91 points in one basketball game. Wally attended the University of Mississippi on a basketball scholarship before serving in the US Army from 1951-1953 during the Korean War. After returning from service, he finished his educations at the University of Illinois at Navy Pier. Wally began his career with the Chicago Park District in 1956. As a physical instructor at Promontory Point and Gage Park, he taught and ran a variety of programs for the neighborhood youth. In 1968, he was promoted to City-Wide Tennis Director which involved managing the city’s 700 or so courts. Wally brought tennis and tennis lessons to every corner of the city. He ran the City-Wide Tennis Championship Tournament, as well as many other tournaments and special events. Wally traveled with the Chicago winners to the National Public Park Championships every year and hosted the National Tournament in 1969 and 1976. He was instrumental in trying to improve the condition of the courts throughout the city and in the opening of new tennis facilities. Wally and his wife, Anne, have been married for 54 years. They have 6 children, 5 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. Wally now spends his time enjoying his family.

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