Belmar Gunderson died May 15, 2023, age 88. She was not only a superior tennis player, despite her short stature, but a great person. We had a connection because she adopted my sister’s beagle, Ollie (long story) and gave him a wonderful and long life (she told me she never thought he’d outlive her husband…but he did).
Belmar was a member of numerous tennis halls of fame, and a recipient of the prestigious USTA “Service Bowl” Award.
Belmar was an accomplished player who reached the quarterfinals of the US Nationals (the precursor to the US Open) in 1955 and ranked as high as #2 in the USA in doubles and #11 in singles. She also graduated from University of North Carolina where she also played tennis, received a Masters Degree at Penn State and a Doctorate Texas Women’s University.
Belmar loved tennis but loved her animals and family more.
The University of Minnesota (where Belmar was the first Women’s Athletic Director) published a nice article. You can read it here.
Belmar, we will miss you.