William J Tully, a long-time resident of Pelham Manor, NY, and Fort Lauderdale, FL, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, July 21. He was 90 years old. Born in Bronxville, NY, to Leo and Catharine Tully, he would go on to live an incredible life. After graduating from Iona Prepatory School, he attended the Univerisity of Notre Dame, where he earned a double major. In his senior year, he captained the 1948 NCAA National Championship Tennis Team. While there he was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Navy Air Corps. Following his graduation, he joined the family publishing business. In 1950, he married the love of his life, Kathryn Merkert. After starting their family, Bill decided to join the New York Stock Exchange as a seat owner and specialist.
Other highlights of Bill's legendary athletic career include: All-American in tennis and track at Notre Dame; winner of the 1948 Canadian National Championships; winner of 22 USTA National Titles, as well as dozens of Eastern, New York and Florida Championships. He played in the U.S. National Championships at Forest Hills, NY, for several years. Bill represented the U.S. in the 1968 Olympics, and he won the International World Championships in singles while representing the U.S. in the 2002 Senior Davis Cup in Austria. He is an inductee of the Westchester County Sports Hall of Fame (1995) and the USTA Eastern Hall of Fame (1999).
He partnered with his children in numerous competitions, both locally and nationally. He won the National Grandfather-Grandson Championship four times with three different grandsons. He loved seeing his passion for tennis passed down to his children and grandchildren. Throughout his life, Bill's teammates and opponents alike have praised his sportsmanship, graciousness and fairness, both on and off the court.
He was a dedicated parishioner of OLPH Church in Pelham Manor, a Knight of Malta, a loyal member of the New York Athletic Club for over 60 years, and The Lauderdale Tennis Club in Fort Lauderdale, FL, and a former member of the Pelham Country Club. Locally, Bill served his community as a Councilman in both Yonkers and Pelham Manor. He cared about people and never slowed down in the pursuit of excellence.
Bill is pre-deceased by his beloved wife of more than 50 years, Kathryn (Kay), as well as his brothers Lee and Paul and his sister Marie. He is survived by his 9 children: Bill (Bea), Chris (Marie), Cathy (Jim) Moore, Joanmarie (Tom) O'Connor, Jackie (Ralph) Alberti, Sandy (Tom) Martin, Susan (John) Rollins, Mark (DeeDee) and Marjorie Tully. He will be greatly missed by his 18 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Bill's life will be held at Pelham Funeral Home, 64 Lincoln Ave, Pelham, NY on Sunday, July 24, from 2:00-8:00 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 559 Pelham Manor Road, Pelham Manor, NY at 10:00 am on Monday, July 25th. Internment will follow the Mass at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, NY. For more information or to leave a condolence please visit: www.pelhamfuneral.com
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Calvary Hospital Hospice, Bronx, NY.