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March 2024 IronOaks Pickleball Player Spotlight

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Merlin & Tibbie Landwehr

Member Spotlight: Tibbie and Merlin Landwehr



If this couple looks familiar to you it might be because they spend a lot of time at the Pickleball Courts, not just playing but volunteering their time with skills and drills.


As they told me, “When we first learned the game it was because some very skilled players took us under their wing, taking time (and patience) to teach us.  Now we want to pay it forward.  It gives us great pleasure to see the newbies moving up in the rankings and now competing in competitions and tournaments.” And Tibbie should know about tournaments as one year she competed in seventeen!


Tibbie and Merlin will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this December and it all started with his request for a “runny Vanilla shake” at the Dairy Queen where she worked as a teen-ager.  They grew up in neighboring farm communities near Peoria, Illinois.


Now their mantra might be "Have Paddle Will Travel".  They take their paddles wherever they vacation. Merlin says, “We’ve played from Maine to Hawaii and met so many nice pickleball players wherever we’ve played. We stay in touch with many of them.”


They first came to Sun Lakes in 2001, then lived in North Carolina for some time, returning to Sun Lakes in 2015.  Before retirement, Tibbie was a surgical assistant both in hospitals and for oral surgeons.  Merlin’s background is civil engineering and electrical contracting which eventually led him to Arizona as a facilities and project manager, developing and managing a 250,000 square foot data center facility.


When not on the court you might find them engrossed in a book as both are avid readers.  Merlin also enjoys cycling and Tibbie loves shopping, or as she says, “Or just looking.”


And speaking of looking, we need look no further than our own courts to find a couple dedicated to the game and helping others enjoy it too.


The Landwehrs live in Oakwood. They have one daughter, Shannon, who lives in Maine and they look forward to visiting her there often. (With paddles, of course, in their luggage).

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