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WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Jeff Aarts, a Pound Ridge native who was a well-known and well-respected tennis pro in the Westchester/Fairfield area, died suddenly on Thursday, Aug. 7 while playing golf. He was 59.
Aarts collapsed on the approach to the 15th hole during a round with his wife Karen and son Michael at Hudson National Golf Course in Croton, said Theron Harvey, the director of operations at Hudson National.
Aarts was rushed to Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, where he was pronounced dead, Harvey said.
Aarts was director of tennis for several different clubs simultaneously in Westchester and Fairfield for more than 30 years.
He spent the last 14 years at Wee Burn Country Club in Darien, Conn., and Norwalk, Conn.
"This is a devastating loss for the Wee Burn community," said Warren Burdock, Wee Burn's general manager. "Jeff would do anything for anyone."
Aarts also served as tennis director at Cedars Tennis Resort in Longboat Key, Fla., and as a senior professional at Chestnut Ridge Racquet Club in Mount Kisco from 1974 until last year. He was also tennis pro at Bedford Golf & Tennis.
He also remained active as a tennis player and competed in a wide array of sectional and national events in the area since graduating in 1977 from the University of New Hampshire, where he was a finalist at the ECAC Division II singles championship. He was also an accomplished golfer.
Aarts earned the No. 7 ranking in the National USTA Men’s 35 Singles and was a finalist in the USTA Men’s 35 Grass Court Doubles Championship in 1991.
In addition to his wife Karen and son Michael, Aarts is survived by another son, Peter.
A wake will take place at Clark Associates Funeral Home, 4 Woods Bridge Road on Katonah on Monday, Aug. 11 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The funeral will be held at Pound Ridge Community Church, 3 Pound Ridge Rd, Pound Ridge, NY on Tuesday, Aug. 12 at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers to honor Jeffrey's love of tennis, children and teaching, a special fund in his name is being established through Danbury Grassroots Tennis and Enrichment.
Donations can be sent to PO Box 2912 Danbury, CT 06813.
Follow Joe Lombardi on Twitter @Joe_Lombardi.