August 26, 2019
Photo: 2016 Barbara Williams Service Award Acceptance
Barbara Fackel of Rock Island, Ill, passed away on Thursday, August 22. Barbara was a volunteer with the USTA for more than three decades, serving in a variety of capacities at both the section and national level, and always with distinction. A former USTA Missouri Valley president (1995-96), Fackel’s contributions to the growth of the sport have been many and varied—always at a grassroots level. She served nationally on the Player Development Committee, Council Chairs, the Advisory Group on Committees and several other national committees.
Fackel’s accomplishments have been lauded by the USTA. She has been given the Eve Kraft Distinguished Service Award (1997), the Tennis Educational Merit Award (2006), and the Barbara Williams Service Award (2016) - three of the national governing body’s highest service awards. ADVERTISEMENT She was also inducted into the USTA Missouri Valley Hall of Fame in 2007 and the USTA Iowa Hall of Fame in 1992. She was currently serving as Chairwoman of the USTA Missouri Valley Hall of Fame committee.
Fackel was actively involved in junior competition since 1980, beginning on the section’s Junior Tennis Council with her children’s involvement with the sport. All three of her children played college tennis at Division I schools. She had served as the endorser for the section’s boys 16s and 18s juniors since 1985 and was on the Youth Competition and Training Committee for USTA National for more than 15 years (1988-2004).
Fackel’s community-tennis-building footprints have been left in many areas throughout the nation, none more so than her native Quad Cities area. She was the founder of the Bi-State Community Tennis Association, and was instrumental in helping put together annual events like the Tennis Block Party annual event, held each year in Davenport, Iowa and Moline, Ill. She served on the USTA Iowa Board of Directors, Community Development and Hall of Fame committees.
Fackel was instrumental in developing successful training programs for communities across the country with a wide range of goals. With the insight to develop successful programs, she was also an active instructor, presenting workshops and seminars at national conferences that promote tennis through community organizations and introduce the tools and skills for effective programs. She was a featured speaker at several USPTA World Conferences and is credited with writing her own training programs, materials, and evaluation techniques.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in Barbara's name to www.rimef.org, or to your local community tennis association. Go Hawks!
(Written obituary courtesy of Patrick J. Galbraith–Chairman of the Board and President.)