Juan Pablo Arico, 51, died suddenly Tuesday, March 24, 2015. As the director of tennis and director of tennis camps at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, Juan was beloved by all whose lives he touched.
Born January 24, 1964, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he distinguished himself as a champion tennis player in his native country. In 1986 he came to the United States as a tennis instructor. He returned to Argentina in 1989 and permanently settled in the United States in 2000 when he joined his brother and parents in Rochester Hills, Mich. In 2003 Juan joined the tennis staff at the MJCCA and became the director of tennis in 2009.
Juan taught players of all ages and skill levels and helped them not only improve their tennis skills, but also enhance their ideas of sportsmanship both on and off the court. He was regarded by all as a top-notch coach. Perhaps most important, his generosity to others was unwavering.
He volunteered and organized teams of volunteers to regularly visit the Ronald McDonald House at Emory and was determined to bring joy to the lives of the children and their families who lived with serious illness. He said his work was a mitzvah, a good deed. He was named a “Hometown Hero” by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on July 21, 2014. Juan instructed children with special needs, whether or not they were mobile, to teach them how to play tennis to the best of their ability. He brought joy to all with his guitar and was as well-known for his smile and his warmth as he was for tennis. He received the Team Player Award in 2012 from his co-workers as a testament to his special style and way of engaging all.
A memorial service was held at the MJCCA on Friday, March 27, 2015.
Juan is survived by his brother, Daniel (Sherri), and parents, Juan and Norma of Michigan. The Juan Pablo Arico Tennis Scholarship Fund at the MJCCA will continue to recognize Juan’s spirit and his work. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Funeral Home and Crematory, 5051 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Peachtree Corners, 770-448-5757.