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USBC Hall of Famer Billy Hardwick dies at age 72

Matt Cannizzaro
USBC Communications
Published: November 18, 2013 | Bowl.com
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ARLINGTON, Texas - United States Bowling Congress Hall of Famer Billy Hardwick died of an apparent heart attack Saturday at age 72.

Hardwick, the owner of Billy Hardwick's All Star Lanes in Memphis, Tenn., was inducted into the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame in 1977 and USBC Hall of Fame in 1985, after a career that included 18 PBA Tour titles and a pair of victories at the 1964 USBC Open Championships.

After failing to cash in a single event during his PBA rookie campaign in 1962, Hardwick went on to win four titles and the first of two PBA Player-of-the-Year honors in 1963. His success continued in 1964 with three more PBA Tour wins and the Classic Singles (730) and Classic All-Events (2,088) titles at the Open Championships in Oakland, Calif.

Hardwick's resume includes three major victories, making him the first of six bowlers to complete the PBA Tour's Triple Crown - 1963 PBA National, 1965 PBA Tournament of Champions and 1969 Bowling Proprietors Association of America All-Star (now U.S. Open).

He later won a then-record seven events on the way to being named the 1969 PBA Player of the Year and collected the final win of his hall-of-fame career in 1976, shortly before retiring from the Tour to focus on the business side of the sport.

Billy Hardwick's All Star Lanes, opened in 1982, includes 40 lanes, lounge, snack bar and arcade.

Hardwick is survived by his wife, Rebecca; daughters Kelly Frasure and  Jamie Howell; sons Eddie and Chris; brother Michael; sisters Liz Lange and Nancy Appelbaum; and eight grandchildren. Two sons, William and Joseph, died as infants.

Hardwick's son, Chris, is actor, comedian, podcast entrepreneur and talk show host who is the celebrity owner of the Silver Lake Atom Splitters PBA League team.

Visitation is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 21, from 5-7 p.m. (Central) at Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery in Memphis. Funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 22. Following Friday's service, a celebration of Billy’s life is scheduled until 5 p.m. at Billy Hardwick’s All-Star Lanes in Memphis.

A scholarship fund is being set up for donations in lieu of flowers and more details will be released at a later date via Billy Hardwick’s All-Star Lanes Facebook page.

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