Southern / North Carolina

Mildred F. Southern

Former Presidet, HOF Member

Ron Cioffi  |  October 22, 2019
Mildred F. Southern
Generous Tennis Philantrophist

One of the great leaders, benefactors and tennis players in the South has passed.


Mildred F. Southern, 98, a former USTA Southern President, a Southern Tennis Hall of Fame member and winner of five USTA championships, died on Oct. 22, 2019. She was born in Columbus County, NC, on May 1, 1921.


She won her first Winston-Salem city championship at the age of 40 and went on to a long career of volunteering for the USTA in local, state, sectional and national organizations. With her husband, Harold T. Southern, they were instrumental in contributing to important building projects within their home state.


Here is a short list of her numerous accomplishments:


  • Attended Appalachian State University where she took up tennis as a recreational player and later worked for the City of Winston-Salem Recreation Department for 14 years supervising numerous tournaments
  • Began to play competitive tournament tennis at age 40 - winning five national championships - and started a long career as a player and volunteer
  • Organized the Winston-Salem Young Folks Tennis Program involving kids 6 to 18 years old in tennis classes and later organized the Twin City Kiwanis Junior Tournament to give young people a chance to compete. ADVERTISEMENT Served as the Winston-Salem Tennis Association President.
  • Served as President of the North Carolina Tennis Association where she introduced “Tennis Weekend” featuring workshops and clinics which attracted over 300 attendees and later introduced the same idea to the USTA Southern Tennis Association. Led the NC Tennis Foundation, where she served as President
  • Served as USTA Southern President and Southern Tennis Foundation Chairman
  • Organized the first Southern Senior Cup with teams from the 9 states competing and ranked #1 or #2 in the South in several different age groups in both singles and doubles
  • Received the Touchstone Award in 1982, the USTA Southern Jacobs Bowl in 1983, the Charles B. Morris Volunteer Service Award in 1998 and was inducted into the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame in 1983 and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2013
  • Served on numerous USTA committees and received the USTA Senior Service Award in 1991
  • Due to her and her husband, Harold, generosity and service, the following are named after them: The Harold T. and Mildred F. Southern North Carolina Tennis Center, the stadium court at the Winston-Salem Open was named the Harold and Mildred Southern Stadium Court and the Wake Forest University Tennis Competition Seating was named for The Southern Family.


For a full list of her accomplishments and the people she touched, please see her obituary by clicking here.


Related Articles