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
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 didnít 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
(go to internet site, www.thetenniscenter.com ).
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 USTA.
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 and
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
Dayna played tennis on the menís team at Dickinson
State, then transferred to New Mexico State to play on
the womenís 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
Minnieís 15 grandchildren, itís now their turn to make
the headlines and carry on the family tennis tradition.
Tennis has been more than a game to us, itís made a
difference in our lives and the roads weíve traveled. We
know Dad looks down, watches our tennis and smiles. Heís
very proud of what his children and grandchildren are