Shirley Turvey Griffith was an outstanding athlete in an era when high schools nationally did not offer interscholastic athletic programs to female students. She excelled in tennis, volleyball, basketball and field hockey at the college level as evidenced by her induction into the Ohio Wesleyan University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1977.
Shirley grew up in the Walnut Hills area which was noted for developing excellent tennis players. She won her first tennis title in 1949 and became a member of the Stivers (boys) tennis team in 1951. Shirley played 1st doubles, but after several winning matches she was declared ineligible to continue. She continued competing and winning tennis titles in local and regional tournaments while in high school.
Following college, Shirley was a teacher at Vandalia-Butler High School and started the girls tennis and field hockey teams. She coached girls’ volleyball, basketball, softball, tennis and field hockey. She moved to Fairmont East where she coached girls’ tennis and golf from 1976-82. She also coached women’s tennis at Wright State University for 3 years. Shirley was inducted into the Dayton Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994 which was in recognition of her many tournament wins and contributions to tennis in the Dayton area. Most notable was her winning the Ohio State Intercollegiate Championships in 1954, 1955 and Runner-up in 1956. In addition, she won many local, county and state tournaments in singles and doubles over a 45 year period, including two National USTA Team titles and two gold medals in Senior Olympics.
Shirley and husband Gordon have been married 50 years. They have 2 children, Scott and Karen and lived in Kettering until 2003 when they moved to Big Canoe, GA, a community in the North Georgia Foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, to be closer to Scott and his family. Shirley continues to play tennis whenever she gets the chance.