Deceased November 13, 2012
With genuine sadness, I have learned of the passing of one of the most popular classmates and a longtime personal friend. The handsome and ever cheerful Roger Lankenau passed away on Nov. 13, 2012, of complications following a colon operation and other medical issues.
Roger had been happily married to his high school sweetheart, Marilyn Munk, for 62 years, had four children and was living in North Carolina for the past 16 years, although he had lived most of his life in the New York metropolitan area.
He attended White Plains (N.Y.) High School and entered Amherst in the fall of 1944. Roger joined Delta Upsilon and was active in intramural sports for all four years. His snazzy red Dodge coupe was spotted often on the Quad at Smith College. He was truly popular on each campus.
Roger spent his highly successful business career in what he always called the “rag trade”—the New York City garment industry. He was quite unlike many in that business and regularly regaled us with anecdotes and observations about his colleagues and competitors.
Soon after his marriage in 1950, he moved to Chappaqua, N.Y., where he and another new neighbor found an odd-looking structure between their homes. It turned out to be a Platform Tennis court. He and his soon to be lifelong partner, Chuck Baird, mastered what we call “paddle tennis” and became nationally ranked champions, regularly winning their age bracket in many tournaments.
Roger was a 60-year member of Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y., where he played tennis and golf and served several terms on the board of governors. In the summers at the country club, he and I played beach volleyball together well into our adulthood, to the delight of our children and dismay of our wives.
He was a wonderful pal for 70 years. As we frequently say these days, they all go too soon.
Gerry Reilly ’49