Our cousin, Keith Donoff, passed away on Sunday from cancer at the age of 54. Keith was an avid tennis player, competing on the senior tour and playing most winters in Florida. As shown below, Keith was ranked first in the Midwest for Men’s 50 Singles. In late February, he was inducted into the Dayton Tennis Hall of Fame, and the Dayton Daily News had a very nice article about Keith’s travels on the tennis tour… Nine years ago, Keith was responsible for getting me into tennis when I started playing regularly at his tennis club, Dayton Indoor.
Missy and I went to visit Keith at his home about 1 week before he died. Although he was weary from the spread of cancer throughout his body, he projected the happy-go-lucky outlook that he always portrayed (I often used to tease Keith that I wanted to be like him when I grow up). For almost 3 hours, we talked about his favorite topic: tennis. I learned about his early years playing against the Brumbaugh brothers as well as his more recent activity serving on the management team at the USTA.
Over the past ten years, we had a regular routine with Keith and his wife Marilyn whereby they came to our home to break every Yom Kippur fast, and we went to their home for every Passover Seder. While Keith never made it to Israel, he could lead the services as well as anyone at Beth Jacob synagogue… Keith was always there supporting his extended family, whether it was comforting Missy when her mother passed away, or helping with the service at my son’s Bar Mitzvah.
I know that Keith is in heaven playing tennis on white cloud courts…