They were young, vibrant personalities who lost their lives much too early. Today, the Amanda & Stacy Darling Tennis Center, 7901 W. Washington Ave., bears their name.
The center court is named for their brother, Ronald Craig Darling. They were part of an avid tennis family active with the Nevada Tennis Association.
How often does someone ask for whom the center was named?
"Every time we have an event, so a couple times a week," said Sandy Foley, facility manager.
Stacy Darling was 21 when she died. A student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she was about to enter her junior year. She had not yet declared a major.
The Valley High School graduate was an above-average student, driven and hardworking, said her father, Fred.
She was so hardworking, she convinced him to let her help out at the family's several 7-Eleven stores. Stacy was only about 13 at the time.
"She'd sweep the floors; she did everything," he said. "I saw her as taking over the business one day."
She continued helping out as a high school student.
Stacy Darling was driving her Chrysler with her sister Amanda beside her in June 1993 when their car was struck in the intersection of Sandhill Road and Patrick Lane.
The road, then undergoing construction, made use of a temporary stop sign, but it had blown down. Unaware that she was supposed to stop, Stacy proceeded into the intersection and was struck by another car, police said. Both girls died.
Fred Darling said the image that comes to mind when he hears the name "Stacy" is "Her tombstone and what we put on it. We put ... 'Such a good girl. We loved her so much.' "
The tragedy prompted Clark County to prohibit the long-term use of temporary road signs. It also resulted in the establishment of the Amanda and Stacy Darling Memorial Foundation, which annually raises tens of thousands of dollars for local charities.
Amanda was 6 when she died. She was getting ready to enter first grade at The Meadows School. Fred Darling choked up as he spoke of her.
"She was Daddy's little girl," he said. "I was in my 50s. You tend to spoil children more when you're that age ... She got everything she wanted, not just material things but my time, my attention."
The family's home has portraits of the two girls hanging on the wall. Fred Darling has learned to pass them without getting emotional, but it wasn't always that way.
"For months after the accident, I'd wake up crying," he said. "Losing a child, it's the toughest thing a person can ever go through."
But fate had yet another cruel blow to bestow on the family members. They lost a son, Ronald Craig Darling, in 2001.
He was 40 when he died. He was riding his motorcycle near Kanab, Utah, and collided with a truck. He left behind a wife and a 23-month-old son, Thomas Darling.
Ron Darling and his wife, Barbara, also owned a 7-Eleven. He was a member of the Nevada Yacht Club, the Best in the Desert Racing Association, the Nevada Tennis Association, the 7-Eleven Franchise Owners Association and the Safari Club.
He also was the most active tennis player in the family.
The Amanda & Stacy Darling Tennis Center opened to the public in September 2005, as part of the 110-acre Kellogg-Zaher Sports Complex. The center is the largest public outdoor tennis center in Nevada.
It comprises 23 lighted hard courts, with a center court accommodating 3,000 spectators.
Fred Darling committed a $1 million endowment through the Darling Memorial Foundation to the tennis complex project. The city of Las Vegas funded $29 million.
"The tennis center is the biggest thing that helped tennis (here) barring Andre (Agassi) himself," said Ryan Wolfington, United States Tennis Association-Nevada executive director. "Tennis has grown by 20 percent each of the last four years, in part due to the Darling Tennis Center being built."
He said tennis events translate to $2.5 million being pumped into the economy every year.
Over the years, the Darling Tennis Center has hosted a number of prestigious events and seen top players such as James Blake, Lleyton Hewitt, Sam Querrey and the Bryan brothers, Bob and Mike. The Tennis Channel Open was held there from 2006 to 2008. The center was selected to be one of 17 regional training centers for the USTA.
"We bring kids in from out of state because this is a top program," Foley said. "It's not me saying that, it's the USTA who says we're better than the norm."
Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 387-2949.