CELEBRATION OF LIFE
Obituary of William D. Humes
William Davis Humes, respected and admired for his courage, graciousness, and integrity, lived life to the fullest for 86 years until February 28, 2023. He is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Anne Baxter Humes, beloved sons Colin Cigarran (Jane Settles Cigarran) of Corvallis, Oregon, and Jason Cigarran (Elisabeth Browning Cigarran) of Atlanta, Georgia, and grandson Anton William Cigarran, together with friends, near and far, and students whose lives were enriched by Bill’s mentorship and teaching.
Bill was the youngest son of Edward and Doris McCaffrey Humes. He was predeceased by his parents and his sister Alice Humes Umlauf. He was very close to his brothers Edward and Harry and his many nieces and nephews, who survive him.
Born in Girardville, Pennsylvania, Bill graduated from Girardville High School, and then studied mathematics at Lycoming College where he earned an A.B. degree and where he played basketball for four years. He went to graduate school at Northwestern University while in the U.S. Navy and earned MEd and EDM Math Education degrees from Rutgers University.
Bill served in the U.S. Navy after college and moved to Princeton, NJ where he taught mathematics at Princeton High School (PHS) from 1960 until his retirement in 2000. Bill also served as an Adjunct Professor at the College of New Jersey and Mercer County Community College.
In addition to teaching math at PHS, Bill hoped to coach basketball. While there was no opening at the time for a basketball coach, there was an opening as coach of the Boys Tennis Team. Bill was interested but knew nothing about tennis so the Athletic Director told him to call Eve Kraft, Director of the Princeton Tennis Program (PTP). That call changed Bill’s life. He learned tennis teaching beginners at PTP, and taught there for more than 40 years. Eve became a lifelong friend, teacher, and mentor.
Bill went on to coach the PHS Boys Tennis Team for 16 years and the Girls Tennis Team for 22 years, garnering more than 650 wins for his teams. He treasured his years coaching tennis. On the court, Bill competed, never giving up, as he did in life, winning singles and doubles tournaments. He was a member of the International Club and played on teams in Canada and the US for many years.
The Director of Tennis at Bedens Brook Country Club for 20 years, Bill also taught beginner tennis at the Princeton Adult School, rigging up a court in the high school gymnasium. He introduced tennis to more than 1,300 adults over 35 years.
Bill was an active tennis volunteer at the local, county, state and national levels. At the national level, he served on the USTA Davis Cup/Federation Cup Committee and with his wife Anne, who managed the USTA Office of the President, traveled the world attending Davis Cup and Fed Cup ties and other tennis tournaments. He volunteered at the US Open and took great delight leading tours of the venue, a role he took very seriously.
To round out his tennis experience, Bill served as a USTA Tennis Official and officiated at collegiate matches and tournaments in Middle States as well as the Women’s National Grass Courts at Marion Cricket Club.
Bill relished the outdoors. He hiked the mountains of Pennsylvania, the Grand Canyon, rim to rim, and completed 1,700 miles of the Appalachian Trail over the years. He also enjoyed fishing, particularly fly fishing, and was an active member of the Lake Solitude Club in High Point, NJ. At Pretty Brook, he taught youngsters how to fish in the Club’s pond.
He was always happy in the company of his labs, Sport, and later Callie.
Bill was elected to several Halls of Fame including Princeton High School Athletics, Mercer County Tennis, and USTA Middle States. He was awarded the prestigious USTA Eve Kraft National Community Tennis Award and the Mangan Award, Middle States’ highest award for volunteer service in the section.
Bill was a cherished member of the Pretty Brook Tennis Club for 55 years. He is recognized on Pretty Brook’s Wall of Fame for winning 10 doubles championships and in 1983, he earned the Triple Crown, winning the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles. He loved playing singles and doubles and later in life became a doubles specialist and organizer of games for members. Soft spoken and sincere, Bill will be remembered for his sportsmanship.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Princeton Tennis Program: www.ptp.org, 92 Washington Road, Princeton, NJ 08540. Burial will be private.
Family and friends are invited to join in a celebration of Bill’s life on Saturday, April 15 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at Springdale Golf Club (1895 Clubhouse Drive) in Princeton.
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