Madeleine P. Eiss, 18, brilliant student and exceptional tennis player | Featured Obituaries
November 24, 2003 – June 28, 2022
Maddie Eiss had just completed a spectacular freshman year at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
She was a rising star on the women’s tennis team, she was welcomed into the Delta Gamma sorority, and she had a perfect 4.0 GPA.
She was such a bright student that she was chosen to be an “additional instructor” when she returned in the fall, an honor usually reserved for upper grades.
In the meantime, she was taking EMT training classes at SUNY Erie North in Amherst and serving as an instructor and coach at the Miller Tennis Center in Amherst. A graduate in neuroscience, she planned to attend medical school.
Her death on June 28 of undetermined causes at the age of 18 stunned not only her family, but also her classmates at Case Western Reserve, where she was remembered for her caring nature, her sense of humor and competitive spirit.
“She made everyone want to work harder and always supported everyone,” her doubles tennis partner Nina Hoog, a junior, told student newspaper The Daily. “She was always positive, keeping us both fighting the whole time.”
“Maddie had an immediate and powerful impact on our team,” head tennis coach Kirsten Gambrell McMahon told the newspaper. The team finished the year ranked 12th nationally.
She often won by wide margins and advanced to the doubles semifinals of the NCAA Division 3 National Championship Tournament. His singles record was 19-7. She was 12-4 in doubles.
The eldest of three children, Madeleine Paige Eiss graduated in 2021 from Clarence High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society, an officer of the Math Club and participated in Mock Trial.
Having started tennis at the age of 5, she was a stellar player in high school. In her freshman year, she became Clarence’s top singles player, beating her teammates – even juniors and seniors – in challenge matches. She was team captain and first seed all four years, representing Section VI in state tournaments four times.
“Being on top doesn’t affect the way I play,” she told the late Buffalo News sportswriter Miguel Rodriguez in 2020. “I feel a little pressure to perform well, but I feel like to have always expected a lot of myself, so that allowed me to work harder.”
She received the WNY Scholar Athlete Award in 2020 and twice received Clarence’s White Letter Award, a special college letter.
She also worked a lot as a volunteer. Since 2019, she had assembled food parcels for poor families for the Love Boxes and supervised the work of young volunteers. In 2019, she also packed food for the needy for St. Luke’s Soup Kitchen.
For Kids Night Out from 2018 to 2020, she organized and supervised activities for elementary students. She also set up stations for young people at the 2019 Fall Festival at the Catholic Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and painted their faces.
From 2018 to 2020, she led Clarence High School tours of prospective freshmen at the eighth grade open house. During those years, she also participated in the Clarence Sleep Out, spending a night out to raise money to help the homeless.
She received the St. Michael’s College Book Award for academic achievement and social awareness.
Survivors include her parents, James and Susan Eiss; a brother, Matthew; one sister, Monica; his grandparents, Maria Zilgme and Peter and Mary Eiss; and her great-grandmother, Emily Pratt Eiss.
Services will be at 11 a.m. today at Dengler, Roberts, Perna Funeral Home, 8630 Transit Road, East Amherst.