May 12, 1942 - January 18, 2022
On January 18, 2022, our beloved Christopher Paul Growald passed away. We cannot yet grasp the permanency of his departure and already miss him deeply. He lived life fully, was kind, loving, humorous, and so generous with what would ultimately be his most precious commodity, his time. Chris was born on 5/12/1942 and was the son of the late Walter Growald and Betty Walbarst. In addition to his parents, Chris was predeceased by his only sibling, his sister Linda Taylor. He leaves behind his loving wife Barbara, stepson Dr. David Gilbert (Lisa) of Boca Raton, FL, grandsons Grant and Blake, niece Lorianne Scully, her son Tommy, and brother-in-law Dr. Andrew Levine (Gwyn), of Houston, TX. Chris graduated Temple University with a degree in architectural design. He was the highest-ranking member of the Temple Tennis team for three consecutive years. After graduation, Chris deferred his architectural and construction aspirations to pursue a professional tennis career. He started as a tennis instructor at the Shelter Rock Tennis Club and the Old Westbury Golf and Country Club. He was also the pro manager of Tennis Enterprises in Great Neck, NY. During the Vietnam era, Chris served at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he helped coach the youth activities tennis program. During his deployment, he partnered with Arthur Asch, traveling throughout Vietnam performing in tennis exhibitions and entertaining the troops. One could say tennis, quite literally, saved his life. Chris was a consummate athlete, and as an adult, learned and excelled in the sport of golf. Many of the most prestigious country clubs on Long Island welcomed Chris onto the award platform on countless occasions as a tournament winner. Nevertheless, tennis was always his favorite sport, and he was thrilled to have played and coached in many US Open Tournaments. Chris has played with such tennis greats as Bobby Riggs, Don Budge, Billy Talbert, Stan Smith, Tony Roche, Ken Rosewall, Rosie Casals, Billy Jean King, Ion Tiriac, and so many others. He briefly coached John and Patrick McEnroe, and nurtured many top ranked junior players. Chris had an unusual cerebral style to his coaching, teaching his students the skills of awareness and analysis, enabling them to self-correct errors in the midst of their matches. Desiring a return to his architectural roots, Chris parlayed tennis lessons for construction and land development lessons with Ed Flax, who would ultimately be his partner in the building and construction industry. He seamlessly segued into a new career as a builder of hundreds of homes on Long Island, as a principal of Piping Rock Industries and Emmy Builders. During that time, it was tennis, again, that led to the most impactful introduction of his life. While coaching David Gilbert in tennis and life skills, he met, befriended, fell madly in love with, and married, David's widowed mother, Barbara. Together, they relocated and resided at Nine Island Avenue, in Miami Beach, FL, for the last 22 years. In his retirement, he volunteered his skills for the betterment of his condo, temple (Temple Emanu-El), and public tennis facility (Flamingo Park). Spanning his career, Chris has been instrumental in touching the lives of countless young people, adding meaning and substance far beyond the technicalities of the overhand smash. He emphasized fair play, teamwork, and physical fitness. He helped create a wholesome environment and was inclusive before it was virtuous. He will be remembered as a hero, a renaissance man, and perhaps most meaningfully to him, as a real mensch. The world most definitely is at a loss upon his departure. God willing, on the other side of this pandemic, a celebration of Chris Growald's life will be planned. For those so inclined, in lieu of flowers, a donation in his memory to Flamingo Park Tennis Center, or the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, would serve to further advance his desire to improve his Miami Beach community. Chris will be interred, with military honors, in a private ceremony, at the New Montefiore Cemetery in Farmingdale, NY, on Sunday, January 23, 2022. Arrangements by Levitt Weinstein Blasberg Rubin Zilbert (305) 932-2700.
On January 18, 2022, our beloved Christopher Paul Growald passed away. We cannot yet grasp the permanency of his departure and already miss him deeply. He lived life fully, was kind, loving, humorous, and so generous with what would ultimately... View Obituary & Service Information
Obituary & Service
On January 18, 2022, our beloved Christopher Paul Growald passed...View More
Send comfort and support when it's needed most.Send a Gift