Claude won the KCAC tennis singles championship in both 1962 and 1963. After attending medical school in Germany, he returned home to Staten Island, New York, to become head tennis professional for 27 years at Richmond Country Club while playing competitive tennis for 20 of those years. Schoenlank won the New York City Public Parks singles championship two times. He won the Staten Island closed tennis tournament in singles 20 times and won many men's doubles and mixed doubles. Claude has played against and with such players as Arthur Ashe, Chuck McKinley, Donald Dell, Illie Nastasi, Peter Fleming, and Ron Holmberg. He once won the Bermuda Open. Schoenlank is the only tennis player to be inducted into the Staten Island Sports Hall of Fame.
Claude Schoenlank Obituary
Little Silver - Claude René Schoenlank, 76, of Little Silver, passed away peacefully on June 9, 2020, surrounded by his family. He was born and raised in Staten Island, NY. Claude graduated from Curtis High School in 1961 and went on to study abroad in Germany for four years before returning to complete his Bachelor's degree at Wagner College.
Claude first found his love of tennis after stepping on the court at the age of just seven. He had a 30-year career as the Tennis Pro at Richmond County Country Club in Staten Island. During his lifetime, he won 41 Staten Island Championships in singles, doubles and mixed doubles, which included four Staten Island Triple Crowns. He also won two NYC Championships, along with the Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association's International Open in 1974. He won his last title 31 years after winning his first. Claude would tell you, however, that his greatest accomplishment was having the opportunity to shape so many rising tennis stars.
Claude met the love of his life and wife of 40 years, Jodi, in 1976 at Jimmy Byrne's in Sea Girt, NJ. The two married in 1979 and later welcomed two beautiful daughters, Casey and Kristy. Jodi and Claude raised their family together in their Little Silver home for the last 23 years.
Claude's second passion was hunting in the Catskill Mountains each fall, where he ultimately fulfilled his lifelong dream of building a log cabin with the help of his brother, Peter. He was happiest when he could share weekends there with friends and family. Claude made everyone feel like part of his family, regaling friends and strangers alike with irreverent jokes and strong cocktails. The twinkle in his eye and smile in his heart left an indelible mark on so many; he will be greatly missed.
He is predeceased by his parents, Arthur and Inge (Boldt) Schoenlank, as well as his brother, Peter Schoenlank. Surviving are his beloved wife, Jodi (Ryan) Schoenlank; his loving daughters and their husbands, Casey and Patrick Getze and Kristy and Gavin Duffy; and his cherished grandson, Liam Claude Getze.
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