2011-11-03 / Obituaries

H. Dickson S. Boenning

H. Dickson S. Boenning, 91, beloved husband of 65 years of Anne Wister (Garnett) Boenning, died peacefully at his home in Jamestown on Oct. 28, 2011.

Born in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, Penn., on Nov. 18, 1919, he was the son of the late Henry Dorr Boenning and Clara Virginia (Smith) Boenning.

He graduated from William Penn Charter School 1938 where he was active in athletics and was captain of the basketball team.

A 1942 graduate of Princeton University, he majored in economics and was a member of the Cap and Gown Club. He was a member of ROTC and upon graduation was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He was placed on reconnaissance duty in a tank destroyer battalion and served in the North African and Italian campaigns until the end of World War II when he was one of the first Allied troops to arrive in Rome.

After WWII, he joined the family investment banking firm of Boenning & Scattergood in Philadelphia where he worked until 1965, at which time he joined the Washington-based brokerage firm of Auchincloss, Parker & Redpath. Mr. Boenning was later named managing partner and guided the firm through its merger with Thomson & McKinnon in 1977, retiring from successor firm Prudential Securities in 1987.

He was a past president of The Racquet Club of Philadelphia, a member of the U.S. Court Tennis Association (USCTA), and a founding member and chairman emeritus of the U.S. Court Tennis Preservation Foundation at the time of his death.

An avid and highly accomplished court tennis and racquets player, he was The Racquet Club singles champion in 1966, 1969 and 1979 and club doubles champion in 1965 and 1979. He was a semifinalist in the 1965 U.S. Court Tennis National Championships. Allison Danzig, the late N.Y. Times sportswriter and only one to extensively cover court tennis, described his “hurtling left-handed railroad serve” and the “biting cut” of his floor shots. He was inducted into the U.S. Court Tennis Hall of Fame. Known for his uncompromising sportsmanship, the USCTA annually awards the H. Dickson S. Boenning Sportsmanship Award.

He was a member of The Racquet Club of Philadelphia, The Clambake Club of Newport, Newport Reading Room, Conanicut Yacht Club and former member of Sunnybrook Golf Club, the Philadelphia Cricket Club and The Philadelphia Club. He was a member of the Military Order of Foreign Wars and Sons of the American Revolution.

He is survived by his sons Dickson Garnett Boenning and his wife Emily of Jamestown, Evan Foulke Boenning and his wife Nancy of Aspen, Colo., David Ellis Boenning of Newport, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A family graveside service will be held in Philadelphia.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Jamestown Fire Department-EMS Division, 50 Narragansett Ave., Jamestown, RI 02835, and The United States Court Tennis Preservation Foundation, P.O. Box 194, Jamestown, RI 02835.

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