By: Sharon Aron Baron
Edward Rack, longtime Tamarac Resident, and life-long golfer passed away on Sunday. He was 100 years old. He and his family spent the last 30 years operating the Colony West Country Club.
He was the son of a coal miner, so there wasn’t much money to go around while he was growing up. He had to work, even at 6.
His job as a caddie started a lifelong journey in golf for Rack, who turned 100 just last June with a party, according to the Pittsburg Post-Gazette. Rack had many trophies to show how good he was at the game of golf, even played with Arnold Palmer at an Exhibition where Ed shot a 69 and Arnold had a 71.
Before he ran the Colony West golf course, Rack and his family owned and operated the 7 Springs Golf Course, is located in Elizabeth Township, Allegheny County, 20 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania since its opening in 1955. His daughter Janice Sherman is currently the General Manager.
Rack and his wife Genevieve had very close ties to Florida with many relatives living there. With his children assuming more of the responsibility of running 7 Springs, it left more time for Ed and Genevieve to visit Florida and enjoy the warm weather and play golf.
Ed joined Colony West Country Club in Tamarac, Florida during one visit with his brother Vic. This proved to be a fateful decision for the Rack Family.
The members of Colony West decided to build a $1,000,000 clubhouse to make their club more attractive to prospective members. Unfortunately, their idea didn’t work and the entire club was heading for bankruptcy. They knew Ed successfully ran a golf course in Pennsylvania so some of the members approached him and asked if he would want to buy Colony West. The Rack family had a new challenge.
Ed and Genevieve called a family meeting and laid out the options. Happily, all the family agreed to take the chance of buying a prestigious course like Colony West using 7 Springs as collateral.
In January 1986 the family became proud owners of Colony West, rated by Golf Digest as one of the top 50 public golf courses in the country. The 18 hole championship course measures over 7300 yards from the back tees and across the street there is an 18 hole executive golf course.
Ed and Genevieve were proud, not only of their business success but most important, of a wonderful family relationship that has grown closer over the years. Sadly, Genevieve passed away on in 2009.
Since April of 2013 Rack’s home had been an assisted living facility. He lived on his own until he was 99 and was driving a car until he was 98, which is all the more amazing considering doctors gave him six months to live in 1976 after a bout with liver cancer. That was almost 40 years ago.
Edward Rack will be buried in Pennsylvania near his wife Genevieve. According to his daughter Janice Sherman, he will be cremated and a memorial service will be held for him around the time of his birthday in Pennsylvania.