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Harry E. Lorence, first superintendent of Beaver Island State Park Golf Course, dies at 83

Harry E. Lorence, first superintendent of Beaver Island State Park Golf Course, dies at 83

April 28, 1934 – Feb. 16, 2018

Harry E. Lorence of Grand Island, retired golf course superintendent at Beaver Island State Park, died Friday in the Scofield Residence, Town of Tonawanda, where he had been a resident for the past two years. He was 83.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Lorence was a 1952 graduate of Williamsville High School, where he played on the baseball team. He earned a degree in business management from the University of Buffalo, where he was a catcher on the baseball team, and received his degree in golf course management from the University of Massachusetts.

The son of the superintendent of Park Country Club in Amherst, Mr. Lorence grew up in the club caretaker’s cottage and inherited his father’s devotion to turf management.

He began working at Park Country Club as a teen and was assistant superintendent there in 1963 when he was hired to work with the architects of Beaver Island Golf Course while it was being constructed.

As Beaver Island Golf Course’s first superintendent, he and his family lived in the park for 21 years in a caretaker's house from the former Sidway Estate. He retired in 1986.

Mr. Lorence was the author of two books on grass maintenance, “Hay, How’s Your Lawn?” and “Golfers Do It in the Rough.” He also wrote articles that were published in Golfdom and Park Maintenance magazines.

He remained an avid baseball player, playing in many leagues for teams that included Amherst A.C. and Phoenix Brewery. He played recreational softball with his family for more than 20 years and coed softball with his wife. He also coached Grand Island Little League baseball.

Mr. Lorence is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Roberta Cronin; five sons, Kurt, Kris, Kent, Kyle and K. Jonathan; a daughter, Kristin Kryszczuk; a sister, Norma Ferguson; and 12 grandchildren.

A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in Maple Grove Cemetery, Stony Point Road near Whitehaven Road, Grand Island.

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