About Ed Krysa

About Ed Krysa

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Linda Ghiloni, Director of the Hudson Recreation Department, presents Ed Krysa with the plaque in his honor which now welcomes players at the entrance to the Riverside tennis courts. Photo by Mike Tremblay

On April 14, 2007, the Riverside tennis courts were dedicated to Edward  P. Krysa, longtime tennis instructor in the Hudson Recreation program and volunteer coach of the Hudson High School Team.  “Mista Krysa” was instrumental in shaping the lives of generations of Hudson youths – on and off the courts – for four decades.  His inspiration established Hudson as the regional center of tennis excellence, including the 1980 State Championship.

Krysa graduated from Hudson High School in 1942 and served in the Army during World War II, where he saw extensive combat in New Guinea and the Philippines.  He retired at the highest enlisted rank, in fact the first Sergeant Major of the Army since that rank was re-established after the Civil War.

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Teaching at Williams College in 1973

Click here for a Hudson Sun article on Mr. Krysa’s contributions to Hudson tennis.

Mr. Krysa died on February 1, 2011.  Click here for the Hudson Sun coverage on his passing.  He was laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.  Click here for photos and news coverage of his military funeral from the Hudson Sun. Click here to read his full obituary.

Feel free to post your fondest memories of your time with Mr. Krysa, or other nostalgia at the Riverside courts.  Use the “Contact” form to tell the webmaster if you have photos to share and we’ll include them.


Comments

About Ed Krysa — 4 Comments

  1. Mr. Krysa’s brother, Frank built my parents’ house. Once he saw how active I was, he told my mother to bring me to his brother Ed who taught tennis. The first time I met him I was 6 and he was pitching balls a Forest Ave.
    For the next 16 years I spent my days at the HHS tennis courts either being taught by the rec staff and Mr. Krysa, or being one of the rec staff and getting lessons from Mr. Krysa after the work day was over.
    From 8-2 or 3 me, the only girl and a group of boys would get instruction from Mr. Krysa, or he would set us up to play little tournaments. The best was when he would play doubles with us – he had just as much fun as we did. We were always so amazed at his skills.
    At the end of the summer, my parents and I would take Mr. Krysa out to eat and he would always say, “I’m going to sit next to my girlfriend”. It always made me laugh. I remember being so proud to be spending time alone with him outside of the tennis courts – it was always a special night and he would tell us funny military stories. Never of course, did he mention any accolades he received throughout his military career – always so modest.
    I teared up watching him receive his award at the Hudson Hall of Fame and I was so very sad that I happen to be on vacation the day the courts were dedicated to him. To this day, if I were to do it over, I would have cancelled that weekend getaway. I wrote him a letter that my parents gave to him, but I did not know that that would have been the last time I would have been able to talk to him.
    I went to his funeral in VA, which was such an honor. Afterwards, his brother Stanley, invited us back to his house where I was able to meet all of the family members that I had heard so much about for so many years, but did not have a face to go with the name.
    I will never forget Mr. Krysa – A true hero in every sense of the word. I hope the people in Hudson understand just how important he was to the town.
    – Suzanne Bonazzoli

  2. I first met Ed in Hawaii at Diamond Head Tennis Center in 1970. I was in the Navy and was playing regularly at the Center. He was sharing a 3-bedroom apartment with Charley Hanson and asked if I’d like to move in with them. Thus began a 40 year friendship. I would try and keep in touch with Ed over the years, especially when I was in Hawaii on vacation, always making a point to make a a trip to Oahu just to hit balls with him and have him correct my many mistakes. He always remembered my kids even though he never met any of them.
    I will always remember him as a kind man who went out of his way to help people.
    He was a good friend.

  3. Thanks for the nice comments about my uncle. I loved the story about the wheelchair, definitely sounds like my Uncle Ed. I enjoyed countless hours with Ed on tennis courts from about the age of 5 to 18. He was a gifted teacher who could always tweak a serve, a stroke, a volley, or frankly any sports movement, for the better. He talked often of Hudson, the Riverside tennis courts, and the players and friends that he knew back home. Thanks to this website for remembering him and carrying on his legacy.
    -Tom Krysa

  4. My last visit with Eddie.

    In the summer of 2009, I was driving through D.C. and stopped in at the U.S. Soldier’s Home to see Ed Krysa. I had visited Eddie there several times, but I couldn’t remember which building he was in. It seems they are all named after Generals whose names begin with “S” (Scott, Sherman, Sheridan, etc.), and to make it more confusing, the buildings are identical and set around a giant traffic circle. I knew I had the right one when I saw an elevator door open and out walked Eddie, pushing an empty wheel chair. “What’s with the empty wheel chair?” I asked. He explained he had fallen and had a hair-line fracture in his hip. “It’s not serious, but my doctor insists I should be in the wheel chair for another few weeks. He told me if he caught me out of it again, he was sending me back to the hospital ward. But you know, once you get into one of those things, you never get out. So I push it around and when I see guys in white coats, I jump in and ride until the coast is clear.”

    It was a classic Eddie Krysa moment. Who else could have the mental and physical determination to rehab himself out of a hip fracture at age 84? And who else could explain it like that?

    Ed Krysa at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C.

    Visiting at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, DC

    We had lunch in the cafeteria. We joined his regular table, surrounded by a cohort of vets from Massachusetts. There was an endless litany of war stories, and eternal ribbing. There was swabbie, jarhead, ground-pounder, leatherneck, etc. And God help the poor guy with hearing aids who had been an Officer. “You have to repeat everything for Mal. He was an Officer so he’s always been a little slow on the uptake.” It was an odd rapport, but clearly, they all took care of each other as they always had.

    But they only tolerate guests so long until the inevitable question about whether you had military experience. Fortunately, Eddie vouched for me. “Mike was in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg.” Nods of acceptance all around. I had instant cred. No war time experience, but I was in the club nonetheless. Then, a few minutes later Eddie added: “And after law school, he was with the JAG Corps. in Germany.” A hush of quiet fell over the table, and instantly I suffered from the same social stigma as Mal: I had been an OFFICER.

    Eddie was still the Rona Barrett of Hudson. He updated me on news from people in Hudson I hadn’t heard yet, even though I still lived there. As always, he was still following the careers of his former students, and he was rightfully proud. The names rattled off his tongue, those still in the tennis business, teaching pros, those who got tennis scholarships to good colleges (some of whom might never have afforded college, nor been motivated to go), and those who had military careers. He was still getting steady visits from his old students. Joe Gill had been there just the week before. Suddenly, we realized the place had emptied out around us, but the kitchen staff allowed us to carry on for hours in our corner of the huge empty dining hall.

    It was always sad to leave Eddie in Washington, so far from his beloved Hudson, but it was gratifying to see him among such good friends, and know he was getting exceptional care. Not to mention the outstanding attention his brother Stanley paid and the wonderful times he had with Stan’s family.

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