Friends remember ‘queen’ Cowart

The sudden passing of Tonja Cowart recently hit the bowling community hard, especially in the multiple leagues in which she participated.

“She loved bowling,” said Shirley Carson, secretary of the Bob’s Bail Bonding League at Wedgewood, where Cowart bowled just days before her death at age 49 on March 21.

“I was on my way to work on Thursday and got a phone call and was told that Tonja died and I said, What?” Carson said of her surprise after having seen Cowart at the alleys on Monday.

Cowart was a member of the Four Aces and a Queen team with Robert Milton, Chris Truman, Winston Higgins and George Hennings.

“She was the queen and the guys were the aces,” Carson said of the team name’s significance.

Cowart’s average in Bob’s was 168.

Carson said she also knew Cowart through various other leagues, including the Youngstown Travelers, whose members bowled monthly in various cities such as Buffalo, Rochester, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Cowart was also a treasurer of Hal’s Thursday Nighters, a summer league at Wedgewood.

Bill Moxley, another Bob’s Bail Bonding bowler, said that, in the early 1990s, Cowart was Youngstown Travelers vice-president when Moxley was president.

“Very nice person, always had something nice to say and very outgoing,” said Moxley, also one of the directors for the Youngstown Bowling Association and chairperson of its upcoming mixed doubles tournament.

“This is the first year I’m doing that and I’m trying to do good job,” said Moxley.

Toni Byrd, secretary of Swan’s Mixed at Wedgewood, said that Cowart subbed in her league.

“She was a very nice person, a fun-loving person who enjoyed the pasttime.”

Diver, Cramer Jr. 300s

Jim Diver and Carl Cramer Jr. had 300s and Jeff Copeland had 11-in-a-row toward a 299, all in Hively’s Doubles at Amron during week 27 of 32.

Melissa Mettee’s 268-747 led Lucky Ladies at Holiday on March 14 and her 258-711 led Holiday Ladies Variety.


Winner of the third 3rd of the Independent Taxi Thursday Seniors at Boardman was the Lucky Strikers team of Fred Dabelstein, Don Kane and Al Mickel, while the wild-card winner was Boardman Pro Shop of Joe Wilkos, Jim Ellis and Doug Zolla.

Mixed doubles

The 48th annual Youngstown Mixed Doubles bowling tournament will run May 17-25 at Holiday Bowl. The USBC-sanctioned event is sponsored by the Youngstown Bowling Association. Based on 400 entries, first place will pay $400 and $200 to the runner-up. The per-couple entry fee is $24. For more, contact Holiday at (330) 755-1444.

John Bassetti writes about bowling for The Vindicator. Emaiil him at

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