Carlton Prouty (1913-2014)
Carlton Prouty, outstanding singles and doubles player in the 1930s and husband of 5-time Women Singles Champion, Sally Green Prouty, died on January 17th. He was 98.
During the mid-1930s Carlton was Nationally ranked in both singles and doubles. Reporting on the 1934 Chicago Intercities, the APPA (American Ping Pong Association) magazine called Prouty “the hardest hitter in the APPA” and to the doubles team of Prouty and Billy Condy “as one of the best known doubles teams in the Country.” In 1933 the team was ranked #4 Nationally.
A brilliant student, Carlton entered Northwestern University at age 16. As a student there, he helped himself financially by playing table tennis exhibitions – at $10.00 per exhibition.
In April 1941 Carlton was drafted into the U.S. Army where he served until 1946.
His table tennis doubles partner, Billy Condy came out of the service at about the same time. Billy’s father knew the Fred Green family and was instrumental in matching Carlton with Fred Green’s daughter Sally.
On July 9, 1947, Carlton and Sally were married – the beginning of one of the most enduring marriages in the world of the table tennis – 67 years. They have 2 sons, Carlton and Warren.
In the late 1970s, Carlton and Sally became typical “snowbirds”. Three months in Florida became six months in Florida. The long drive, the dislike of cold weather and the lure of warm, ice-free winters made them decide to leave Chicago and move to Ft. Myers Florida.
Once they made the move, their lives became filled with swimming, golf and making new friends. For the past 15 years or more Carlton and Sally have been entertaining residents at senior centers around Ft. Myers. While Sally played the piano and sang, Carlton danced with the ladies in the audience – they called him “Mr. Wonderful” and to all of us who knew him, he truly was – Mr. Wonderful.
Carlton and Sally at their condo in Ft. Myers in 2008.
Photo by Dean Johnson