Remembering seven-time club champion John Kemak

Remembering seven-time club champion John Kemak

On April 7th, Seneca Falls Country Club lost one of our great all-time members. John Kemak passed away at age 95. He spent the majority of those years as part of the SFCC family.

John graduated from Mynderse Academy in 1942. He served our country in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946, in the 226th field artillery battalion in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater.

As a boy in the 1930’s, he hitched rides to SFCC each weekend where he earned money as a caddy. With cast-off clubs and a wood he made out of a hickory limb, John learned the game, eventually upgraded his equipment, and enjoyed golfing with friends at the club throughout his life. He is a seven-time Men’s Club Champion. He won his first in 1946 and his last in 1964 He continued to play until he was 90.

For the better part of the last 15 years, John was unable to play regularly but could be seen a few times a year playing a few holes here and there. Even though he was unable to play, he continued to pay his dues and cart pass during a period of time when our club desperately needed revenue. In fact, just four years ago, Mr. Kemak contacted us to apologize for not renewing his cart pass but pledged to remain a full dues-paying member. It was at this point our Board voted to waive his membership fees and award him a lifetime membership. We were told by his family that this gesture touched him deeply, although it is our club that owes Mr. Kemak the utmost gratitude for his contributions and his friendship. His support and love of Seneca Falls Country Club will not be forgotten.

The photo above shows Mr. Kemak (2nd from the left), holding the 1951 Men’s Club Championship trophy.