Family, Friends Remember Tennis Pro Jeffrey Aarts

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The Tuesday funeral of Pound Ridge tennis pro Jeffrey Aarts was heavily attended.
The Tuesday funeral of Pound Ridge tennis pro Jeffrey Aarts was heavily attended. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
Friends and family gathered Tuesday for the funeral of Jeffrey Aarts, where he was fondly remembered.
Friends and family gathered Tuesday for the funeral of Jeffrey Aarts, where he was fondly remembered. Photo Credit: Tom Auchterlonie
Jeffrey Aarts
Jeffrey Aarts Photo Credit: Chestnut Ridge Racquet Club

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- Tennis pro Jeffrey Aarts' impact in life can be gauged by the turnout at his Tuesday funeral at Pound Ridge Community Church.

Attendance was far beyond the main room's capacity, with folks standing in the back and in the vestibule. Additional space in another room was utilized, and overflow parking was used next door at Pound Ridge Elementary School.

Aarts, a Pound Ridge native who died suddenly Thursday at the age of 59 while playing a round of golf with his family at Hudson National Golf Course in Croton, was remembered fondly in a series of anecdotes from his family and friends, with his mentoring of others held in high regard.

Flanked by sons Peter and Michael, Aarts' wife, Karen, brought up memories of their adolescence, including a time where she beat in him a Pound Ridge Town Park tennis tournament. Both grew up locally and remained in the area, living in a home built by her father.

Karen Aarts also recalled her husband's career, including his tennis lessons and his association with a club whose program grew while he was there. She also recalled him playing golf with his sons and taking them for rides in a cart.

At times in his remarks, younger brother Tom Aarts called him a “great father,” a “great teacher” and a “protector.” He recalled their childhood, including his brother's interest in tennis.

The funeral service included prayer and singing in the audience of hymns such as “Amazing Grace” and and “On Eagle's Wings.” Following the service, pallbearers brought Aarts' casket to a hearse, with people facing in two lines by the walk.

As part of coverage of Jeffrey Aarts' passing, Daily Voice chronicled the organizations he was associated with throughout is career. They included the Wee Burn Country Club in Darien, Conn., and Norwalk, Conn., Bedford Golf & Tennis and Chestnut Ridge Racquet Club in Mount Kisco, along with being a 1991 finalist for the USTA Men’s 35 Grass Court Doubles Championship.

A fund in Jeffrey Aarts' name is being set up to through Danbury Grassroots Tennis and Enrichment, it was announced. The purpose will be for honoring his love of tennis, teaching and children, according to the announcement. The mailing address for donations is P.O. Box 2912, Danbury, CT 06813.

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I just read this obituary on Jeff, but it fails to mention not only is he survived by his wife and two sons, but also survived by his mother, Prue, father Jerry, sisters, Carol and Christine along with his brother Tom who spoke at the funeral.

Jeff took my husband and me as tennis students when we were in our mid-30s. Quite a challenge, but his good humor, patience and passion for the game included sharing it with us. Until our knees gave out, we played tennis as often as we could. Jeff was a very special man and we were privileged to have known him.