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        Federal Employees Tennis Association


♦   1965 - FETA was created. It was run by Herb Koss and Jerry Ockl. Membership was small enough that Herb ran the organization at his own expense.

♦   In the early days FETA had singles levels A, B, and C and a total of about 25 to 30 players. The membership of FETA peaked at approximately 150 members in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In recent years there have been about 60 to 80 members.

♦   For many years traditional trophies were given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in singles and doubles, and a picnic was held each year where playoffs were held for the trophies. The tie-break was not used so there could be a lot of tennis, especially for those who played both singles and doubles. Some of the earlier picnics were held in Denver's City Park. In later years the Bear Creek Swim and Tennis Club was rented for a day for exclusive use by FETA. In recent years the picnic has been held at Morse Park in Lakewood, and does not include tournament matches.

♦   For one season in the late 1980's, the trophies presented to the top three finishers in each group were bottles of wine with 3 different levels of quality for the various trophies within the group.

♦   Even into the late 1980s, Jerry Ockl typed the group rosters on a typewriter. It was a time-consuming chore that shows the deep level of dedication Jerry had towards FETA. Jerry loved to play tennis and enjoyed many other outdoor activities as well.  For decades Jerry was the "heart of FETA."

♦   In 1990 Gary Osburn brought FETA into the modern era with the use of computer software to store the association's records and prepare mailings to the members. He was also the first to use email to communicate with the members and conduct FETA business with them.

♦   In 1998 a new tradition began when free T-shirts were awarded to members who completed the minimum number of matches to qualify for the end-of-season tournament for any group in FETA. This innovation was well received by the membership and continues until today.

♦   In 2005 the first website was created by FETA's first webmaster, Paul Carlson. The first website was used to provide a single location where the members could access the rules for FETA. It was later expanded to provide information for both existing members and potential new members. 

♦   In 2006 the first end-of-season potluck picnic/tennis social was held at Morse Park in the month of October. The event consisted of "fun tennis" and socializing with fellow members and family members, followed by the picnic with beverages, grilled burgers and brats, and general supplies all provided by FETA, while the members brought potluck dishes to share. Tournament play was complete or almost complete prior to the picnic. The tradition of October end-of-season potluck picnic/tennis socials continues to this day.

♦   In the earlier days when trophies were awarded, members paid $10.00 dues for each group (singles, doubles, mixed doubles) that they participated in, so individual cost could vary from $10 to $30. When trophies were discontinued, the member dues of $10.00 allowed for unlimited play in FETA, as well as attending the Spring Fling and Picnic, and receiving a highly-coveted FETA T-shirt for those qualifying. The fee was increased to $15 in 2018 to meet increased costs.

♦   A lot of enjoyable tennis has been played and many friendships have been developed between FETA players over the years. It has been a kind of "family" to folks who always looked forward to another year of tennis. Now, more than 55 years after its inception, FETA continues to help members enjoy tennis. 


Below is a list of the Organizers who have served FETA over the years. It would be very difficult to list all of the group coordinators and other volunteers, but it is certain that FETA would not have been able to function without their efforts.  

No. Organizer  Begin    End  
1 Herb Koss and Jerry Ockl 1965 ?
2 Jerry Ockl ? ?
3 Jerry Ockl, Gary Osburn and Butch Gillete 1988 1989
4 Gary Osburn 1990 1994
5 Tony Wahl 1995 2004
6 Mark Steers 2004 2007
7 Paul Carlson 2008 2015
8 Trudi Fleit 2016 2016
9 Bob Nestel 2017
Acknowledgements:  This History of FETA was initially prepared in January 2009 with information contributed by, and the assistance from, the following people:   Vern Dvorak, Gary Osburn, Tony Wahl, Paul Carlson, Eva Siemonsma, Kevin Atwater, and Mark Steers.