Former ABC Executive Al Matzelle Passes Away

by Bob Johnson 0

Al Matzelle, who devoted most of his adult life to the administrative side of bowling, has died, BJI has been informed.

Matzelle had celebrated his 100th birthday on April 11, and spent recent years living at the Milwaukee Catholic Home.

Here is his USBC Hall of Fame biography from

“Besides his efforts on behalf of ABC, Matzelle was instrumental in the early years of the Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum.

“He joined ABC in 1938 as official typist of rule book envelopes. After later serving as assistant to Hall of Famer Frank K. Baker for 19 years, he eventually was elected to the ABC executive post in 1972.

“In 1980, he moved to St. Louis to plan and organize the Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum, and was the person in charge of the shrine when it opened in 1984. He returned to Milwaukee the next year and has spent part of his time… volunteering his services at Bowling Headquarters.”

No details regarding services have been announced.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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