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WTA Tennis




Saying goodbye and thank you to a great friend of Wisconsin Tennis – Betty Claus

May 5, 2008 06:26 AM

A month or two ago, after reviewing recent Committee Member and Chair appointments for 2008 – 2009, I was talking with long-time friend Mel Wade about two of our long-time WTA Recreation Committee Members, Betty Claus and Bert Wethe. Mel informed me that both committee members had retired from the committee, one due to ill health, and one due to moving from the state to be with his son.

After thinking about their years of dedicated service to Wisconsin Tennis, I came up with the idea of giving each of them a present, award, plaque or something… just to say thanks for all of their hard work and efforts with the Recreation Committee, over the years.  Mel thought a special certificate would be a good way to go and volunteered to design one for each… Betty and Bert.  Rick Luther, current Chair of the WTARC and me as President were to sign the certificates and mail them back to Mel for framing and delivery.  Mel designed and printed out the special thank you certificates and mailed them to me.  For some unknown reason, they were put aside and not signed.  Several weeks later, Mel asked me if I had signed them and I told him no… but would find them, sign them, and mail them to him immediately.  In the meantime, Mel discovered that Betty was quite ill so, he decided to magically add our signatures, framed the certificates, and delivered Betty’s at once…As luck or fate would have it, Mel delivered the certificate to Betty, just one week prior to her passing.

After Betty passed on, Mel sent me the Funeral Announcement along with a great bio about Betty’s life and a picture of Betty playing tennis, early in her life.  I was so touched by the article and picture that I asked Mel if he would get permission from Betty’s husband to post the bio/pic on the WTA website.

Below is an e-mail that I received from Mel today (May 3) (BTW… Mel always calls me Coach, one of my many nicknames...)

“Dear Great and Nice Tennis People, Linda, Coach and Rick: 

I received the message today, just when I opened my computer to send Lloyd the information on Betty Claus.   Coach, I finally reached Curt Claus, Betty's husband, who was very enthusiastic about giving permission to put her article and picture from her funeral on the Web page and also sent to the historian, Bill Van Lieshout.

He said that Betty very much appreciated the Recreation Committee Certificate that I framed and took over to her a week before she died.   He said that she had a big smile, even though very weak at the time.   Curt was the author of the article and said that he regretted forgetting about saying in the article that she had graduated from Milwaukee Downer College in 1948, Summa Cum Laude, and being a member of Phi Beta Kappa.”

Please click here for the bio and picture, used with the kind permission of Betty’s husband, Curt Claus.

Good bye Betty and thanks for all that you did to promote the great game of tennis in the Wisconsin District.

Lloyd Cook, USPTA
President, Wisconsin Tennis Association