Hersh Herschman January 12, 1943 ~ August 7, 2019
Hersh Herschman was never a certified tennis professional, but many of those who he instructed would say otherwise.
Born Marlin Joseph Herschman on January 12, 1943, in St. Ignatius, MT., he would always be best known as Hersh or The Hersh Man. He died August 7, 2019, at The Chateau at Gardnerville in Nevada of inoperable brain cancer. His wife, Sheryl, and best friend for more than 40 years Greg Painter were with him. He was 76.
After graduating from St. Ignatius High School in Montana in 1961, Hersh joined the U.S. Army for two years. He spent two summers at West Point.
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It was in 1963 that Hersh left Montana with a high school friend to check out Lake Tahoe. For the next 56 years Tahoe would be home. He was a full-time resident of Stateline, Nev., until 1992, when he moved down the road to Zephyr Cove.
Hersh was a craps dealer at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe from April 4, 1964, to January 2, 2002. After retiring, he and wife Sheryl started spending winters in Palm Desert, Ca.
Hersh and the then Sheryl Sellgren met in 1991 when she was in Tahoe on a ski vacation. She was living in Atlanta at the time. With her working for Northwest Airlines, it made the long distance relationship easier to manage until Sheryl moved to Tahoe. They celebrated their 25th anniversary on February 26, 2019.
While Hersh was accomplished at snow skiing, water skiing, basketball, fast pitch softball and enjoyed hiking, it was tennis that was his love. It was the sport that he played in the mountains and the desert.
The Tahoe Tennis Classic was founded by Hersh, Greg Painter and Gary Covell in 1983. Sheryl joined the three in 1991 and helped to organize and present the event. Hersh presented Tahoe Classic for 30 years. In 2014 the tournament was turned over to the non profit Zephyr Cove Tennis Club Foundation. Hersh competed in 35 of the 36 tournaments, having won several times at the various levels in which he competed. At the 2019 event he was a spectator, returning one last time to his beloved Zephyr Cove courts in July. In many ways a tennis court was like a third home for Hersh. It was where he would hang out with friends. He would easily interact with players of all ability levels, offering sage advice. He knew the game of tennis better than most recreational players and even better than some who made a living at the sport. Tennis and Hersh were synonymous.
It was Hersh’s mischievous smile and infectious laugh that drew people to him. He had a knack for being able to converse with anyone. He was great at trivia, especially sports trivia.
Hersh was on the board of the ZCTCF when it was founded in 2014, and remained active until his death. For many years, Hersh organized the Super Senior The Tennis League in the desert. Teams in age groups starting at 60 and going to 80-plus would compete each week. Hersh’s team won the league many years. Some say the players of the Super Senior Tennis League were the best senior players in the country.
Hersh was preceded in death by parents Tony and Anne Herschman; sister, June Herschman Geer; brother, Herb Herschman; and daughter, Devon Herschman Walsh.
Survivors include his wife, Sheryl Sellgren Herschman of Zephyr Cove, NV.; son, Matthew Herschman (Tina Herschman) of Deltona, FL; son-in-law, Jim Walsh and grandchildren, Gillian Walsh, Kendall Walsh and Jake Walsh of Debary, FL.; brother, Richard Herschman (Lynn Herschman) of Cutbank, MT.; niece, Anne Marie Gorman (Glen Gorman) of Cutbank, MT.; niece, LaVell Juricich (Mike Juricich) of Ogilvie, MN.; nephew Chris Herschman (Sabine Herschman) of Germany.; several great nieces and nephews.; mother-in-law, Lorraine Sellgren Davis of Alexandria, MN.; sister-in-law, Judy Sellgren Ehle of Snellville, GA.; nieces, Allison Ehle of Atlanta, GA and Adrianna Ehle Warnell (Gordon Warnell) of Savannah, GA.; and best friend, Greg Painter and his wife, Holly of Genoa, NV.
There will be a Celebration of Life on August 27th from 4-8 p.m. at the pavilion at Nevada Beach off Elks Point Road in Zephyr Cove, NV. A funeral Mass will be celebrated August 28 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Tahoe Catholic Church in Zephyr Cove, NV. Interment will immediately follow at Happy Homestead Cemetery in South Lake Tahoe, CA
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Hersh’s memory to the Zephyr Cove Tennis Club Foundation online at http://www.zctennis.com/about/support-the-foundation or at ZCTCF, P.O. Box 10215, Zephyr Cove, NV 89448.
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