Donald Jay Brewington
October 4, 1940 – 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, Oklahoma on October 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 1950’s and was ranked #1 in Oklahoma in his 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. 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.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Donald Jay Brewington
July 6, 2019
Don was a wonderful teammate and great friend. Don always kidded Bobby Seaborn and myself about beating us in gradeschool championship in basketball.
July 6, 2019
Don was a fierce competitor -- fierce only as he applied his passion to himself in competing to its highest level. He could not stand the thought of losing in any competition.
Perhaps, tennis is the sport in which he most excelled, but he was a very good athlete in any athletic endeavor. This fact is especially noted in his high school years in football and basketball.
He was also loyal to his friends, which is a trademark of his person that was much appreciated.
May our dear Lord grant Don peace, joy, and comfort throughout the time of eternity, and comfort all who now mourn the loss of his presence.
Jerrell Chesney, former SHS Basketball Coach - 1957-1967
July 3, 2019
The Brew left me with many fond memories of our friendship and the many moments we shared on and off the tennis courts. He was one of the few tennis players who I honestly believe was better than he thought he was. Furthermore, I never saw him make a bad call.
In 1956, at the age of 15, he had 12 match points in a three-set loss to 17 year-old Rod Laver in the first round of the USTA Junior Championship in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Laver went on to easily defeat all his other opponents and claim the USTA Junior Championship. Of course Laver went on to be the only person to ever win the Tennis Grand Slam twice.
Brew's 12 match points is the #1 "Great Moments" featured on the USTAboys.com website. Despite his obvious talent and overtures to train with Butch Buchholz and other tennis stars in St. Louis, Brew decided to pursue his football dreams.
No one will ever know how great a tennis player he could have become if he had decided to concentrate solely on tennis. Truth be told, when he did return to competitive tennis as a 35 year-old he seldom lost and continued to dominate older age groups as he became eligible.
Brew will be missed by everyone who knew him and welcomed home by those who predeceased him.