Darrell C. Eden was born on July 25, 1920 to Beatrice (née Linton) and Arthur Edward Eden, in Everett, Washington. He married Marilyn on November 6, 1948. He passed away on May 20, 2011 in Kirkland, Washington. He is survived by his daughter Terri Eden, son James Eden, and granddaughter Brooke Eden, grandson Cory Eden, niece Kerri Eden and Robin Eden and newphew Guy Eden, sister in law Mary Lee Eden as well as many other family members and friends.
Darrell "Righty" Eden was a Puget Sound tennis legend
By Bob Condotta
Seattle Times staff reporter
Darrell "Righty" Eden, who survived the storming of Iwo Jima to become one of the most influential members of the Seattle tennis community, died Friday. He was 90.
Darrell and his twin brother, Donald "Lefty" Eden, were each part of the invasion -- sharing a fox hole on Iwo Jima. Even then, however, tennis was not far from their minds as they built a tennis court on an air strip and played whenever they could.
"They talked a lot that they wore out their combat boots playing tennis on the runway," recalled Tom Gorman, who knew the brothers well, and is perhaps the best tennis player in Seattle's history.
The brothers -- Lefty died in 1985 -- were born in Everett and raised in Tacoma, earning a state title at Stadium High. They later played at the University of Washington, winning a conference doubles title. They got their nicknames for the side of the court on which they played during doubles matches. Darrell Eden also won a conference singles title at Washington and was elected to UW's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
After World War II, the twins returned to the area and, according to the story commemorating their induction into the Tacoma Athletic Commission Hall of Fame, "dominated doubles tennis in the region, collecting hundreds of trophies over the years. They never lost an age-division match from the 35's to the 55's."
Darrell Eden also captained the USA team in the Pan American Games and the USA Crawford Cup team and was inducted into the USTA Pacific Northwest Hall of Fame in 2001.
Darrell Eden, born July 25, 1920, held leadership roles in the United States Tennis Association and helped organize the U.S. entry in the 1984 Olympics, according to the TAC website.
They also helped found the Washington State Tennis Foundation, helping support the careers of promising young players such as Gorman, which some consider one of Darrell Eden's greatest legacies.
Gorman said he was around 11 when Darrell Eden became his "tennis father" as part of a father-son program. Gorman said the relationship laid the foundation for his career.
"I can accurately say if it were not being able to be basically scholarshipped at that young age and be able to then grow and develop my tennis at the Seattle Tennis Club, I know for sure that I would not have been able to eventually develop into the tennis player I became," said Gorman, who reached the singles semifinals at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the French Open, and beat Jimmy Connors and Bjorn Borg in his career. Gorman is the Director of Tennis at the La Quinta (Calif.) Resort.
"They really had a big role in helping support the development of a lot of young players," said another player of the era, Brian Parrott. "But his love for tennis never took away for his love for his wife and kids."
Darrell Eden's youngest son, Scott, was a promising tennis player before dying at the age of 18 in 1975.
His wife, Marilyn, is also deceased. Darrell Eden is survived by children Terri and Jim Eden and grandchildren Cory and Brooke.