Edward J. Kroll
COOPERSTOWN — Edward J. Kroll, 83, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, at his home in Cooperstown.
Ed was born in New Hartford in 1930, the fourth son and last of nine children to Jacob and Mary Krӧl.
He was married to his beloved wife, Michaline, (Micky), in 1951.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years; his daughters, Louise Anne of Cooperstown, Kathryn of Oneonta, Nancy of Schenectady; his grandson, Marcus Anthony Delgado III, also of Oneonta; and several nieces and nephews.
Ed attended and graduated from New Hartford Central High School in 1949. He was a four letter athlete who played baseball, basketball, football and golf. His senior year he was voted “Most Valuable” football player for the “Red and Blue.” He also was chosen to represent Central New York in the New York State High School Golf Championship Tournament in 1948.
Ed started his golf career caddying at the Yahnundasis Golf Club at age 9. He won his first golf tournament at 15 when he won the First Annual Utica Junior Amateur Championship title. He won the city junior title again at age 17. When he was 18, he took the top spot in the Utica Amateur Championship, and won this title again the following year at age 19.
Ed turned professional in 1950, serving his PGA apprenticeship under William Grygiel Sr. at Drumlins C.C. in Syracuse. In 1952, he went to Cooperstown as assistant to then head golf professional, Len Raynor. In August of that same year Ed was named head golf professional of the then named, Cooperstown Country Club. Ed continued to work for the Leatherstocking Corporation as head golf professional until his retirement in 1993.
Ed was a lifetime member of the Professional Golfers Association of America for 58 years, earning his Class A title in 1955. During these years Ed had many outstanding golfing accomplishments at both the local and national levels.
In 1955, he won the Utica Observer-Dispatch Open. He won several Utica Jenny Open Pro-Am titles with his longtime amateur partner, Dr. Walter Knych. He was the winner of the first annual Otesaga Open Invitational, three time winner of the Lakeshore Open in Rochester, winner of the EnJoie G.C. Fall Round-up and many more Central and Northeastern NY PGA section pro-ams. He was the Northeastern N.Y. PGA Section Champion twice. He won the Central NY PGA Section Championship in 1969 and 1976.
In 1957, Ed shot a score of 62 to set a new course record at Cooperstown C.C. This round, over the 6,554 yard course included seven birdies, two eagles and only one bogey. This course record still stands today.
At the national level, Ed competed in three USGA U.S. Open Championships (1963, 1964 and 1969). He was a three time medalist in the local qualifying events for these championships. Ed was a contestant in nine PGA National Championships (1964 to 1969, 1971, 1974 and 1975). His best national finish was a tie for 23rd at the 1964 PGA Championship which was played at Columbus C.C. in Columbus, Ohio. Ed was a contestant in 11 PGA National Club Professional Championships (1968 to 1976, 1979 and 1980). As a senior golfer, Ed was a three time contestant in the PGA National Seniors Golf Championship and a contestant in the 1987 USGA U.S. Senior Open Championship.
Along with playing competitive golf, Ed enjoyed teaching golf to local juniors and adults alike. He started a junior program at Cooperstown which produced many accomplished golfers, many who became professionals themselves. He coached the Cooperstown H.S. golf team for many years.
He was a member of the Cooperstown Lions Club and was instrumental in starting its annual Christmas tree sale which still continues today.
For many years he was the host golf professional for the Baseball Hall of Fame Induction weekend Golf Classic and Pro-Am. As host, Ed got to meet and play golf with many baseball greats like Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner, PeeWee Reese, Yogi Berra, Ernie Banks, Stan Musial and Joe Morgan.
Ed’s most cherished accomplishment however was as the founder and host of the Cooperstown Senior Open and Pro-Am to benefit Pathfinder Village, a home for children and adults with Down syndrome in Edmeston. Ed, his boss, Stephen C. Clark Jr. and Cherry Valley resident Joe Franzese started this tournament in 1981. Proceeds from this annual event continue to go to a scholarship fund to benefit the residents of Pathfinder Village.
In accordance with Ed’s wishes there will be no services.
In memory of Ed, the family asks that donations be made to Catskill Area Hospice of Otsego County, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820 and the Alzheimer's Association of Northeastern New York, 4 Pine West Plaza, Suite 405, Albany, NY 12205.
Arrangements are under the guidance of Tillapaugh Funeral Service, Cooperstown.