HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Jane Hirota Pang didn’t look formidable.
At 4-foot-10, she wore a big smile and carried a humble disposition.
But on the tennis court, friends and family said, she was relentless. Those who didn’t take her seriously soon learned the error of their ways.
“A lot of times the men would be wondering what she was doing there,” her husband, Franklin Pang, told the Star-Advertiser. “And then they would find out when she beat them.”
Pang, a tennis standout and the USTA age group national champion, died Dec. 15 at Kuakini Medical Center after contracting coronavirus. She was 79.
Pang started playing tennis as a girl — at just 11.
And she never put down her racquet, keeping up with the game through college and then later, as she grew a family, raised her children and helped with family businesses.
Her approach to the game was one she brought to life, too: You were never too old to get better.
Pang won an incredible eight national titles in the senior ranks.
In 2013, she was inducted into the Hawaii Tennis Hall of Fame.
Friend Karen Hastings said Pang accomplished so much, but kept a level head — and a warm heart.
“All the trophies that she won or all the tournaments that she won internationally and nationally,” Hastings said, “she never bragged about anything.”