South Dakota State Hall of
Joe and Minnie Paluch Family
The SD Tennis Achievement Award was started in 1997 to recognize
distinguished contributions to tennis by families and others. This year the
honor goes to a family that has impacted Black Hills area tennis and other
parts of the country and will for many years to come.
The Joe and Minnie Paluch family of Rapid City has been involved in tennis
for over 40 years, and the offspring will carry on that tradition. Seven
children, all names beginning with the letter "D," have impacted tennis. In
order by age with Daryl the oldest, then comes Dolly, Dixie, Donna, Duke,
Darcy, and Dayna.
Joe, who died in
2002, was a hard working barber for 33 years while Minnie was a hospital
dietary aide for 20 years. As proud parents, they usually found time to
watch many tennis matches. Daryl said the only day they could not wear
tennis clothes was Sunday, when the family took up their own seating aisle
in church. Together, they learned about faith, family and values. Few
families can tout seven kids, six with college degrees and the seventh with
barber college certification. Especially from parents who grew up working
the prairie of North Dakota and didn't finish high school. Hard work as
school age kids was the dominant theme for Joe and Minnie (now age 67).
Their children all started tennis around age 10 or so, going through the
city recreation program. South Jr. High was near the Paluch home so walking
and playing tennis for hours was a constant event. A large family usually
meant a hitting partner was nearby. All played prep tennis for Rapid City
Central. Shelves Joe built in their home with over 500 trophies is proof of
their many city and regional tennis ventures.
Daryl got the gang
going, starting with a trip to a discount store and buying his first racquet
for under $2. Hoping to make his high school team someday, he checked out
library books on tennis and began by hitting against the house and a nearby
school back board. Soon, other family members joined him.
Daryl, who lives in Rapid City with wife Carolyn and children Whitney and
Billy, was state champion at #2 his senior year, then really improved in
college. He went to the nationals as conference and district champion for SD
Tech, then transferred to New Mexico in Albuquerque on a tennis scholarship.
He worked in accounting and finance, his degreed field for four years. Then
he became a tennis pro, working at RC Arrowhead Country Club for 18 years,
promoting community tennis along the way. A dream came true recently as
Daryl, with help from his mother and family, built a four court indoor
tennis facility in Rapid City, the Indoor Tennis Center of the Black Hills.
Dolly played at New Mexico State in Las Cruces on a tennis scholarship,
graduating with a medical technology degree. She and husband Kelly Perryman
and daughters Kelly Jo and Katie live in Henderson, NV.
Dixie went to barber college so she could work with father Joe. She has
coached Rapid City Central boys and girls tennis teams for the past five
years. She and her husband Dan Lecy and sons Doug, Dustin, and Derrick were
recognized as the 2004 Family of the Year by the Northern Section of the
Donna taught city recreation tennis out of high school while playing for
Black Hills State, graduating in elementary and special education. She
taught at North Jr. High in Rapid and coached tennis two years and at RC
Stevens for a year with sister Dayna. Now, Donna lives in Albuquerque, NM
with husband Scott Souhrada and children Conor and Carly.
Duke was state high school #1 singles champion for RC Central as a junior,
also excelling in basketball. At age 15, Duke represented the Northern
Section as a top junior playing in regional and national tournaments. Twice
while playing for Gustavus Adolphus he earned All-American honors, and
graduated with a business degree. Duke then worked as tennis pro at Boulder
Country Club in Colorado before becoming director of the Millenium Harvest
House in Boulder. He lives in Superior, CO with wife Marty and sons Matthew
Darcy played prep tennis but went to a junior college on a baseball
scholarship. He transferred to Black Hills State, graduating with a degree
in business administration. His leadership sparked the start of the
Spearfish, SD Tennis Association. Now Darcy and wife Kristi live in Rapid
City with children Corey and Morgan.
Dayna played tennis on the men's team at Dickinson State, then transferred
to New Mexico State to play on the women's team. A social work graduate,
Dayna lives in Rockville, MD with husband Ed Miller and sons Austin and
Daryl said, "Many years have passed since we all started tennis and we all
still love the game. With Minnie's 15 grandchildren, it's now their turn to
make the headlines and carry on the family tennis tradition. Tennis has been
more than a game to us, it's made a difference in our lives and the roads
we've traveled. We know Dad looks down, watches our tennis and smiles. He's
very proud of what his children and grandchildren are doing today."