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“Godfather of Bowling” Joe Schmidt Passes Away

Condolences go out to the family of Joseph Schmidt, the crowned “Godfather of Bowling” in the New York area. Schmidt, or “Smiling Joey,” as he was known by close friends and family, passed away Saturday morning. Schmidt was best known for organizing the Capitol District Junior and Pro-Scoring League and being a charter member for the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA), where he was one of 33 founding members.

Carol Judge, President of the Northeast Bowling Proprietors of New York, spoke on Joe’s legacy to the Times-Union,

“He was the Godfather of bowling for this area,”

“His legend still lives on. He was very important to everyone. The kids all know who Joey Schmidt (was).”

In 2004, Schmidt was nominated for the Young American Bowling Alliance Volunteer of the Year Award for his work with youth in bowling. He also won the Eastern Regional Bowling Proprietors Association U.S. doubles championship with Larry Cassera, a former Albany resident.

He became a regular competitor on “TV Tournament Time”, an early 50s bowling show funded by the Capital District’s Bowling Proprietors Association. Soon after the show was canceled in 1996, Schmidt retired from bowling. Schmidt passed away just ten days before he and his family and friends were to celebrate his landmark 100th birthday.

Joe leaves behind three children: Jack, Joe and Mary. As well as six grandchildren: Alaina, Lori, Joe, Michael, John, Brian and eight great-grandchildren (Michael Jack, Joey, Ryan, Jakob, Thomas, Reed, Christopher and Luke).

Services will be held for Joseph Thursday from 4-8 p.m. and Friday at 10 a.m., his family’s wishes are for donations on his behalf to made out to the Mohawk & Hudson River Humane Society, 3 Oakland Ave., Menands, NY 12204. Special messages can be left at www.NewcomerAlbany.com

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