Nelson Turnell

Nelson Turnell

Nelson Turnell

Area tennis enthusiasts lost a great friend when Nelson Turnell passed away. He was a Falconer Central School graduate and was affiliated with nursery stock sales for over 40 years and that is how he got involved in tennis.

To break the tedium of traveling throughout the Northeastern United States, he played tennis in his free time. When he wasn't on the road, he was teaching tennis in the Jamestown area for over 30 years and all free of charge.

He played in many tournaments, but didn't keep a record of them or the trophies. He played in the New York Sate tennis toumament and won many doubles titles with his son, Dan. He once defeated the first singles player from the University of Tennessee, who was 30 years his junior, with smart play that included chips, lobs, and drives.

It wasn't honors that Turnell liked the most, but just playing and teaching at the local courts and many local tennis players lerned the game form him. Among his students were Karen Peterson, teacher and top player in Buffalo; Jimmy Kamman, a teaching pro in Chicago; Judy Calanni, the first female ever to play singles on the Jamestown High School boys tennis team; and Len Johnson.

Nelson Turnell died in 1981. He was inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.

Nelson Turnell

Nelson Turnell, in the second court wearing long, white pants, is giving a tennis lesson. In the near court are four Turnell pupils playing a match. Tim Johnson, in red shirt, Nelson's grandson, and his playing partner Judy Calanni are hitting to Don Bube and another Turnell grandson, Brett Johnson.

courtesy of Dan Turnell

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