Golf legend Charles Sifford laid to rest

Golf legend Charles Sifford laid to rest
Charles Sifford died on Feb. 3. (Source: WOIO)
Charles Sifford died on Feb. 3. (Source: WOIO)
A service was held at Church of the Savior in Cleveland Heights. (Source: WOIO)
A service was held at Church of the Savior in Cleveland Heights. (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - Family, friends and fans paid tribute to legendary golfer

. Tuesday, while recalling how he helped break the game's color barrier during his career.

Sifford died on Feb. 3 after suffering a stroke.

Services were held at the

in Cleveland Heights.

The golf legend was the first African-American on the

in 1961, helping desegregate the sport. He went on to win a major golf tournament in 1967.

Charlie's good friend, Renee Powell, also broke barriers in the 60s as the second African-American woman to ever play on the LPGA Tour.

"I must say for Althea Gibson and myself, the first two African-Americans to play on the LPGA Tour, Charlie paved the way for us, too," said Powell.

Family and friends remember him as a World War II vet, a recent Presidential Medal of Freedom award winner and a pioneer in life. The 92-year-old was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004.

"We were so proud of his accomplishments and so grateful that dad was able to enjoy the recognition he so rightfully deserved," said Sifford's daughter-in-law, Annie.

Sifford summed up his own life by telling Golf Digest, "And in the end, I won. I got a lot of black people playing golf. That's good enough. If I had to do it over again, exactly the same way, I would."

Sifford was living in Brecksville and will be laid to rest in his hometown of Charlotte, NC.

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