14 February 2014

Virgin Islands Sports Pioneer joins the ancestors

The Government House Blog

Upon learning of the passing of Victor L. Ebbesen, Sr., former Personnel Director and avid tennis player, Governor de Jongh expressed his condolences to the entire Ebbesen family. "Victor Ebbesen was a family friend, a classmate of my father's, and an admired and respected public servant. He had a long and illustrious career with the Government of the Virgin Islands, holding the posts of Director of the Division of Personnel from 1959 to 1967 and then heading Maternal and Child Health. Cecile and I extend our sympathies to Mr. Ebbesen's children, his sisters and brother, and all other members of the extended family circle at this very difficult time," he said. 

Mr. Ebbesen was born, raised and educated on St. Thomas. He graduated from Charlotte Amalie High School in 1944. He later received a Forsythe Scholarship to attend Syracuse University in New York. After his freshman year in college, he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1950. He returned to college in 1952, finished his degree in 1955, and then returned to the Virgin Islands and joined government service. 

Before being deployed, he married his high school sweetheart, Thelma Leona Oliver, the granddaughter of noted educator E. Benjamin Oliver. Their marriage produced three children, Patrice, Jeannette and Victor, Jr. The couple was happily married for 61 years until Mrs. Ebbesen's death in 2011. 

Throughout his life, Mr. Ebbesen was a skilled and passionate tennis player. After his retirement, he spent many hours playing tennis at Cowpet Bay Tennis Courts. He bought the inventory of the pro shop and his wife became the shop's office manager. He represented the Virgin Islands in numerous tournaments. His prominence as a tennis player did not go unnoticed and he was inducted into the African-American Ethnic and Caribbean Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. The St. Thomas Racquet Club named its tournament the "Vic Ebbesen Tennis Tournament" in his honor. 

Mr. Ebbesen is survived by his three children and their families; his brother Jean and sisters Angel, Leona and Grace; numerous other relatives; many friends and former colleagues; and admirers throughout the community. He passed away on Thursday after a brief illness.