Ann V. Stowell….born August 16, 1914 in Ventner, New Jersey. At age 81, Ann Stowell has blazed more trails for bowlers than most anyone! For fifty-six years she has dedicated much of her life to the promotion of bowling and has done so in many states due to military travel with her husband.
She has been a member of: Philadelphia and Pennsylvania WBA’s, Oakland and California WBA’s, Honolulu, Oahu, and Hawaii WBA’s, Pascaqula and Mississippi WBA’s, Norfolk and Virginia WBA’s and then she finally came to us and has been a member of Charleston, Orangeburg, Columbia and South Carolina WBA’s…
Ann has been a member of WIBC for 56 years! Her highest league average was 186 and she held an average of 170-180 over a ten year period….her highest game was a 279 and high series of 682….Her first 600 series bowled in Philadelphia, PA in 1942…Thus, she probably holds the longest membership in the 600 Club than anyone present.
She has participated in 11 WIBC National Tournaments, 1 Queens Tournament, BPAA National Women’s Doubles, Territory of Hawaii match game champion….and with many physical handicaps….still bowling in three leagues.
Over the years Ann has dedicated some very unique experience to others in promotion of bowling and ejoyment of the sport…teaching blind people to bowl in Philadelphia and working with deaf-mute children….helping SC State University students to spell, write and read….Volunteering her time and services without compensation….in nearly every state she has been active in helping adult and youth leagues in formations and instruction.
She was a member of the Hawaiian Team to bowl in 1951 in Seattle, Washington when the first lifting was made of the color ban in bowling at the national level!
In the Philippines, Ann was instrumental in corresponding with WIBC to receive a charter for the military base and she formed and conducted instruction for both women and youth groups.
In 1956 her husband Ed was assigned to Charleston, South Carolina…Lucky for us that his last assignment was to our state…Ann joined the Charleston WBA that year and one year later, was to obtain her certified instructor’s credentials in Winston-Salem, North Carolina from none other than Mr. Milton Raymer. Her enthusiasm for spreading the good news was aimed at proprietors, schools and anyone who would listen and then act for Junior Bowling ($1.00 a game for 3 games and no charge for shoes!!!)
she served as City Supervisor for the City of Charleston, representing the American Junior Bowling Congress. Her first Christmas Tournament for the AJBC was held at Beacon Lanes with over 600 Youth Bowlers participating!! She was instrumental in the formation of the Charleston WBA.
Ann held coaches clinics at both the Parris Island and Beaufort Air Stations and junior leagues were formed at both bases….She served as the awards headquarters for North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia when AJBC was located in Chicago…Ann’s home was the sub station for awards and her home was filled with AJBC Awards and Trophies to be given to the associations.
In 1962…Ann and family moved to Orangeburg…Again she was in the school system getting them interested in bowling….Physical education teachers were trained as coaches and a junior program was launched..As well as the eventual start of the Orangeburg WBA! Ann served as the first City Association Secretary/Treasurer….
One of Ann’s Junior Bowlers was Hassie O’Neal….Harry O’Neal, Jr. Later became a pro bowler…and is now PBA Regional Tournament Director of the southeastern states…So, we might say Ann had something to do with the promotion of the PBA Bowlers!!
Ann has been a widely traveled individual….from Hawaii to the Philippines..to Hong Kong and Mainland China..forty-nine of the fifty states….wherever she traveled , the bowling ball went…Her dedication to bowling and in particular to youth bowling has been foremost in her mind and heart. Her grassroots level work was in many ways instrumental in the formation of the S.C. State Youth Association.
Ann has been an ambassador to the family of bowling for many, many years…Her dedication and complete willingness to share herself with so many others is truly commendable…..We are the fortunate ones!!