USAB mourns the loss of Michael R. Gamez

Sept. 26, 2008, 3:21 p.m. (ET)

Michael Rodriguez Gamez, born in San Antonio, Texas on May 27, 1956 was called by the Lord on September 26, 2008 at the age of 52.  He was taken suddenly by his life long battle with asthma.  He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.  Mike's love of photography has touched and recorded many memories of many lives.  He always carried his camera with him for that unique picture only he could see; those memories will last a lifetime.  He was a loving and devoted husband, brother, and adopted father to all his badminton kids who he was truly dedicated to and adored.  We must not forget his pugs Austin, Poona, and Yonex who will miss their daily walks with Mike, rain or shine.  His wife of 17 years is truly inconsolable and wishes everyone to keep her in their prayers to help her overcome her grief.  He is preceded in death by his father, Ernest Gamez, mother, Evangelina Gamez, brother, Joe Gamez and Jackie his favorite pug..  He is survived by his wife, Rita Ann Cardenas Gamez, brothers Raul Gamez and wife Betty, Ernest Gamez and wife Carmen (deceased), sister-in-law Lydia Gamez, many nieces and nephews, goddaughter, Ruth Menchaca, and godsons, Austin Leal and Adrian Perez.

Michael Gamez started Alamo Badminton Club in 1997 in response to half a dozen junior players crowding the adult badminton court in San Antonio.  Ten years later his club grew exponentially and now has over 100 juniors that know all the fundamentals of badminton.  Currently a dozen train in his elite program and compete nationally and some, internationally.  Even more compete in local tournaments and strive to be at the coveted elite level.  Throughout his coaching tenure, Michael's students won 5 Junior National Championships, 20 junior national medals, and two have been named USA Badminton All-Americans.  He was a very popular choice for many athletes from out of state and even from other countries who would come to San Antonio to seek his training and knowledge for weeks and months at a time.

Some of his own badminton accomplishments include: Head Coach of the 2004 Gold Winning Pan Am Junior Team, USA Badminton's Vice President and Director at Large, USOC's Volunteer of the Year, US Olympic Developmental Coach of the Year, Southern Badminton Association President, President of San Antonio Badminton Club, USAB Junior Committee Chairman, USAB Regional Umpire, contributor of Tony Grice's book "Badminton Steps to Success", and USA Badminton Regional Coaching Director.

Mike touched many lives in ways that go beyond improving their badminton game.  His generosity, love of the sport, and enthusiasm to help kids reach their dreams was incredibly strong and will continue to be an inspiration to all those he knew.  Alamo Badminton Club and its mission will not end with Mike's sudden departure.  His "kids" will hold their regular practices and keep training to reach the dreams and goals that he worked so hard to keep alive.


Both Sunday and Monday services will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church on 1321 El Paso Street, San Antonio, TX

Sunday, September 28, 2008
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm Visitation
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Rosary - Prayer Services

Monday, September 29, 2008
9:00 am Burial Services