Donald Jay Brewington, 78, of Shawnee, passed away June 26, 2019.
Tennis legend and Shawnee High School Football Hall of Famer Don “Bolter” Brewington
passed away June 26, 2019, after a lengthy battle with kidney disease. Known also as “The
Brew,” Don was born in Shawnee on Oct. 4, 1940.
Don excelled in several sports as a kid but tennis was his true passion. His Shawnee High School record of 66-2 was stunning with his only two losses occurring in the state finals to Billy Buckley, voted the top Oklahoma high school tennis player from the period of 1950-2000. Don was honored as a top 5 high school player of the 1950s and was ranked #1 in Oklahoma in his 30s, 40s and 50s. He was also involved in the growth of tennis in Oklahoma and Texas developing the Tulsa Southern Racquet Club, Summerfield Racquet Club in Oklahoma City and Fleetwood Racquet Club in Houston. After receiving his master’s degree in education, Don went on to teach and coach high school tennis in Harlingen and Alice, Texas. He helped several athletes achieve their dream of playing college sports.
One of The Brew’s proudest tennis moments ironically came in a loss. In 1956, at the age of 15, Don hitchhiked to Kalamazoo, Michigan for the USTA Boys National Tennis Tournament. Unranked and playing in the 18 and under bracket, Don drew the #1 seed, 17-year-old Rod Laver from Australia. “I was never scared of anyone on the court, but Laver had recently won the Wimbledon Junior Tourney and my friends told me I was going to get killed.” Brew won the first set 6-3 and, as word spread that a 15-year-old Okie had Laver on the ropes, the number of onlookers grew into the hundreds. But Laver, the top junior player in the world, fought off 12 match points to win the second set 8-6 and went on to win the match. Don often talked of this match and was amazed and certainly disappointed that he came within one point of beating one of the best to ever play the game.
In addition to his success on the tennis court, Don, with encouragement from his mother, played football his senior year at Shawnee High. He went on to become the first player in Shawnee football history to rush for 1000 yards in a single season and was named to the High School All-American team. He played college football for OU under Bud Wilkinson for one year before transferring to Oklahoma State where he started as receiver leading the team in receptions in 1962.
Don seldom complained about health issues and often reminded the listener how truly blessed he had been.
He was preceded in death by his father Carl Brewington and mother Dorothy Porter.
He is survived by his brother Steve Porter and wife Susan and nieces Katelyn Russell, husband Warner, and Annabelle Porter.
Special thanks go out to the great folks at Grace Living Center in El Reno, Good Shepherd Hospice, Gloria Harrison, Rick Buck, Ruben Elizarde, David Kisner, Jeff Williams, the old Luby’s crew and his many wonderful friends. The Brew was a classic individual, an amazing athlete and will be missed.
A celebration of Don’s life will take place in the near future.
Donations in Don Brewington’s name may be made to the Britton Christian Church Tennis Academy, 922 NW 91st, Oklahoma City, OK 73114.
Please sign the online guestbook at www.resthavenfh.com.