Klavohn honored with lifetime membership

Claudia Loucks
Mike Ward, left, won the championship class in the 2009 Richmond Tournament at Geneseo Country Club, and Don Klavohn was honored at the event with a lifetime membership to the club.

Don Klavohn is known in the community and surrounding areas not only for his successful ownership and operation of Klavohn Furniture in downtown Geneseo for 56 years, but also for his faithful membership in the Geneseo Country Club.

A 70-year member of the Country Club, Klavohn was honored at this year’s Richmond Golf Tournament with a lifetime membership to the Club.

He played in many of the prestigious Richmond Tournaments at the Country Club, and in recent years has been part of the tournament from the sidelines. 

It was the companionship and “spending time with friends” that Klavohn said he most enjoyed about golf.

But it wasn’t golf that first captured Klavohn’s interest in the Country Club.  He liked to swim, but said, “The only place to swim in the area was in the canal and the Country Club had the best facility in the area.  There was a pier out into the canal and bath houses.   That was how I first became interested in the Country Club, it wasn’t the golf course at that time.  In fact, in those days there were sand greens, rather than grass greens on the course.”

Klavohn said he learned he could join the club with a junior membership that was $7.50 for one year.

“That was in 1939, and I had a Saturday job at Fulk’s (Royal Blue Grocery) on State Street,” he said.  “I worked only on Saturdays and Saturday night was the busiest night of the week.  It was a 10-hour day for me every Saturday and my salary was 25 cents per hour.”

Ray Lake, president of the Country Club board, found early records of Klavohn’s membership where he made three payments of $2.50 each for his annual Country Club dues.

“It took my entire salary for three weeks to be a member of the club,” Klavohn added.

He said he did not learn to play golf until he finished high school and it was the late Jim Terry, owner and publisher of The Republic, who taught him to golf.

Even though his golf clubs are put away, Klavohn plans to use his Country Club membership by visiting the pro shop for lunch with friends and to continue being on the sidelines for the annual Richmond Tournaments.