In Memoriam

The U.S. Backgammon Federation has reserved this space to honor the memory of significant loved ones in our backgammon community who have passed on.   If you know of someone who has passed, or who has lost a loved one and wish to announce such passing, contact with “IN MEMORIAM” in the subject line.  Including complete details will ensure that an appropriate posting can be made.

The following list of past Memorial tributes published on the USBGF website is provided here to keep our community abreast of those persons who have passed, or persons who have suffered the lost of a loved one, in case the original posting was missed.

Edward B. Bennett 1936 – 2016 Ed Bennett was a man of many interests and talents, two of which were tennis and backgammon. He began playing tennis at age 12 and excelled at it through college and military service. In the 1970s Ed discovered another sport that excited him, backgammon. He applied himself to the game, studying with top players, researching the history of the cube, and devouring books to improve his playing. Ed took full advantage of his retirement in 2005 to enter tournaments. He promoted the game through his Santa Fe tournaments, and was the tenth person to join the U.S. Backgammon Federation as a Gold Founding Sponsor. He also shared his love of the game with his son, Adam. Ed was a gentleman at all times, and well respected on the backgammon circuit. He will be missed. Here is a featured article from Prime Time Magazine: Ed Bennett: King of the Mountain.

The backgammon community, together with the Board of Directors and staff of the USBGF, extend their heartfelt condolences to Phil Simborg, Education Adviser to the U.S. Backgammon Federation, on the passing of his mother Rose Simborg Mellow of Boca Raton, who died peacefully on Sunday, December 30, 2012, at the age of 101.  She was the only female in her law school where she met her husband, Hugh Meyer Simborg.  She dedicated her life to Jewish charities and was president of many fundraising and Jewish organizations in Chicago, Dallas and Boca Raton.  She was twice honored with the Hadassah Woman of Valor award.  She is survived by her sons Sheldon (Jackie), Donald (Madeleine) and Philip (Randee) and from her marriage to Harry Mellow after the death of her husband in 1956 stepsons Roger (Harriett) and Leon and step-daughter Sandra. She had six grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren along with 6 step grandchildren and 11 step great grandchildren.

She never slowed down to the very end of her life. She loved card games, Maj Jong, and backgammon.  In her 70’s she took up painting and became extremely skilled and prolific.  In her 90’s she became proficient with computers and handled all of her stocks and investments on-line and studied the market thoroughly on a daily basis.  Most of all she was very close and involved with her family and celebrated several of her important birthdays by taking the entire family on Caribbean cruises. Memorial contributions in her name are welcome and can be made to American Friends of Magen David Adom at 866-632-2763.

The Board of Directors and staff of the USBGF would like to express their sincere condolences to Joe Russell and his family on the passing of his wife, Cathy, on Monday, January 23, 2012. Cathy, who for several years had suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, developed a severe blood infection following a medical procedure intended to treat her condition, and died a few days later with her family at her side. She is survived by her daughter, Katie, her son, Josh, her husband Joe, and her brother, Mike Odenwalder.

If you had the good fortune to know Cathy, you know she was one of the most joyful and funny people you could hope to meet. In lieu of sending flowers, the family has requested that donations be made to The Rheumatoid Patient Foundation. It also has a Facebook page.

Dr. Bob Hill, better known as the “Hillian” with double 6s also named the “Hillians”, was a dear friend for over 35 years.  He contributed so much to the game of bg, through tournaments at his home in Old Westbury, New York where families gathered many summers for a day in the pool, picnics, volleyball and just lounging.  He travelled the world, ran weekly, all-nighters at his home and hosted bg clubs with tournaments in Manhattan.  A member of GamesGrid and GridGammon, Dr. Bob was also a reliable and tireless resource of bg information.  He was well liked by the entire bg community, revered especially in the NY community and truly missed. — Antoinette-Marie Williams

Heartfelt condolences are sent to John O’Hagan and family by the Board of Directors and staff of the United Backgammon Federation,along with the entire backgammon community, on the passing of the  O’Hagan family matriarch, Margaret M. O’Hagan.  Mrs. O’Hagan  lost her battle with cancer on February 25, 2011.  While she was born in Lansing, Michigan, she spent most of her life in the South Bend, Indiana area.  During Margaret and Bazil O’Hagan’s 56-year marriage,  they were blessed with 5 daughters and one son,  who collectively expanded the O’Hagan clan with 17 beautiful grandchildren.
Although Margaret O. never played backgammon, she was a fine bridge player and golfer, and for many decades attended Notre Dame football and basketball games.  She loved to shop, and had an excellent sense of fashion and interior design.  Personally, she maintained a strong Catholic faith and was active in her local church for many years.  Mrs. O’Hagan will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.  Personal expressions of sympathy may be sent to John O’Hagan at Donations can be made in Margaret O’Hagan’s memory by contacting the Center for Hospice at:

The backgammon community, together with the Board of Directors and staff of the USBGF, extend their heartfelt condolences to the First Lady of Backgammon Carol Joy Cole, on the passing of her mother Masako “Amy” Mitoma, on December 29, 2010.  At the age of 89, Amy quietly departed the earth while in hospice care after suffering from a torn coronary artery.  During her lifetime, Mrs. Mitoma attended the University of California-Berkeley, and later graduated from the University of Michigan.  She acted as Assistant Director to Carol Joy Cole, in founding the Flint Area Backgammon Club in 1978, and designed drawsheets for the club’s modified double-elimination tournaments.  Mr. Mitoma would appreciate contributions in memory of his wife of almost 70 years to be made to the Japanese American Citizens League at or the American Heart Association, at  Donation acknowlegements should go to: Carol Joy Cole, 3719 Greenbrook Lane, Flint, Michigan 48507. 

The Board of Directors and staff of the USBGF extend their sincerest condolences to Karen Davis and family, on the untimely passing of her daughter Kelly Davis Collins, on December 7, 2010. Karen, a key member of our Board, has been working tirelessly and effectively in making the USBGF a thriving organization.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Maumee Valley Country Day School toward the Collins Family Endowment Fund, 1715 South Reynolds Road, Toledo, OH 43614, or Garden Park Christian Church, 8605 Salisbury Rd., Monclova, OH, or the American Cancer Society.