The drive by "Remembrance" has been moved to Sunday at 1 PM.

A Tribute to Dennis Girardi

I loved Dennis Girardi. I loved his long shorts and his funny shirts. I loved his jokes, his self-effacing sense of humor, his sincere humility. I loved how he played Pickleball. Dennis was the wrong shape for an athlete, but not the wrong mind, or style, or competitive spirit. He was smart, always played hard, never made excuses. He was quick with a compliment on both sides of the net. I loved the camaraderie of having Dennis for a partner, and the challenge – those damn lobs! – of playing against him. Dennis even named a shot: The Detonator! He was just fun.

But mostly, I loved Dennis as a person. Dennis loved God, loved his family, loved the world he was part of. He was so, so proud of his children. I talked with Dennis often, and he never failed to be interesting. He was a good listener, and good to listen to.

I know I'm not alone in any of this. Everybody loved Dennis. We are all better people because he was here. I will miss him dearly. We will all miss him dearly.

Goodbye, Dennis. Goodbye, friend.

( Words by Steve Loh; Photos by José Sosa )

Hello Chicago Pickleball Community,

So many of us in the Chicago pickleball community were touched in some way by Dennis Girardi. To show his family that he was loved, we are planning a drive by "Remembrance" of Dennis on Sunday April 25 . We would love to get a huge turnout. We will congregate in the parking lot (please stay in your cars) of Hanover Highlands Elementary School at 1 PM .

Once we have all arrived, we will move out in single file and drive by Dennis' home where his family will be waiting for us on their driveway. You can make a sign about Dennis and display it out your window, or merely pull up in front of the family and extend your condolences. The goal is to come together (but still stay apart) as one community and show support for one of our own.

If you have any other ideas, please share them. Dennis' brother, David, will entertain any idea, and then make the decision that he feels would be best, and easiest for the family.

Visit the Dennis Girardi Remembrance on Facebook.

Dennis had an uphill battle. While we can no longer help him, we can still help his family. His wife, Melanee, and his daughters, Stacy, Jenna, and Janessa, have also had the virus and are improving. A fund to help them financially through this difficult time is being set up by Bill and Linda Graba. They are collecting money until April 28. At that time they will send a card to the family and include the money and a list of everyone who contributed. It will not include the amount.

There are two ways to contribute to this fund:

1.) Use a PayPal account to send money to

If you don't have a PayPal account, perhaps you could combine with someone else that does. If you do, please let them know the names associated with the donation.

2.) Mail a check to them at 2235 Lockwood Loop, The Villages, FL 32162.

If you choose to be a part of this effort, please email them to let them know, so they can either check with the bank to make sure it has been deposited or the mail to make sure it has reached them. Mail delivery in Florida is slow.

Whatever you are able to do to help Dennis's family at this time will be greatly appreciated by them.

--Bill and Linda