The Obit For Sonny Senerchia


Published in the Asbury Park Press 11/7/03

EMANUEL ROBERT SENERCHIA, 72, of BRICK, was killed while riding his motorcycle on Saturday, Nov. 1, in Freehold. Born and raised in Newark, he had an extensive and multi-faceted career as a professional baseball player, baseball coach, high school and college instructor, S.C.C.A. race car driver, licensed pilot, jazz musician, and concert violinist. Known professionally as "Sonny Senerchia," he was a pitcher and third baseman with the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, and Cleveland Reds. Following his baseball career, he served as baseball coach and instructor at Livingston High School before moving to the Jersey Shore in 1962 to coach the Monmouth College Baseball Team and teach physical education at the college. A 20-year resident of Spring Lake, he also resided in Long Branch and Ocean Township, where he continued his careers in music and teaching. He held a bachelor's degree in physical education and English from Montclair State Teacher's College and a master's degree in music from Trenton State College. As a concert violinist, he was a featured performer, soloist, and concertmaster with several orchestras, including the New Jersey Symphony, the Garden State Arts Center Orchestra, and the Toms River Symphony. His solo violin performances included appearances with entertainers Pearl Bailey, Jack Benny and Peter Allen. At the age of 10, he performed as solo violinist at Carnegie Hall. As a jazz musician, he played clarinet, saxophone, flute, and piano with many local bands, including the Warren Mercer Big Band and Quartet. In his retirement, he enjoyed playing in a tournament softball league (the Holiday City South team), attending races at Wall Stadium, working as a freelance professional musician, and making appearances on radio and television as a local sports personality. His numerous honors and awards include induction into the Montclair University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Surviving are three children, Susanne Sener of Larkspur, Colo., Steven Senerchia of Brick, and Kenneth Senerchia of Divide, Colo.; a sister, Carmela Caruso of Shrewsbury; several nieces; his former wife, Dorothy Senner of Tinton Falls; and long-time companion, Susan Dooley of New York City.

Relatives and friends are invited to call from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Johnson-McGinley Funeral Home, 2652 Route 138, Wall. A celebration of life service will follow at 7 p.m. The Rev. Dan Schafer of the Hightstown Baptist Church will officiate. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial donations be made to the Eric Martin Fund, P.O. Box 1327, Soddy Daisy, TN 37384.