Bob Chase, 88, of Prairie Village, KS passed away suddenly and unexpectedly at his home Monday November 22, 2021. He was born December 8, 1932 in Perry, MO to George and Agnes (West) Chase. As a youth, Bob hand set bowling pins and was a golf caddy at Indian Hills Country Club.
Following high school, Bob was employed as a Machinist for Sesco Engineering and Supply Corporation of North Kansas City before being drafted into the US Armed Services serving with the United States Army in Korea. While in Korea serving as an Army Engineer in Signal Processing, he earned a United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal and National Defense Service Medal. In addition, Bob applied his bowling skills to win the 8th Army Bowling Championship which would serve him well in his future career as a Professional Bowler and owner of a Bowling Supply Business.
Upon return from Korea, Bob met the love of his life Margaret Ann (Ferguson) and they were married February 21, 1959. He became a charter member of the Professional Bowlers Association, the first Professional Bowler in Kansas City, and signed the first contract for the National Bowling League in 1960 representing his hometown Kansas City Stars whose home lanes were at the Midland Theater while running his Bowling Supply Shop. During his long career in which he was once named Mr. Kansas City, Bob was a Brunswick Staff Advisor for Champions, appeared on the first episode of ABC’s Wide World of Sports, displayed his skills in Madison Square Garden and was a regular on Top Stars, Jackpot Bowling, and Make that Spare television shows. He was the King of Bowlers in 1957, 1958, and 1959, a 40-year participant in the American Bowling Congress National Tournament and initiated and championed Kansas City’s Bowl-a-Thon for Cerebral Palsy. Later in his career he helped establish and secure television coverage of the Senior Bowling Tour for Professionals over 50 years of age. His success in winning a number of tournaments combined with his dedication to the community earned him election to the Kansas City, Jackson County, Wyandotte County, and Missouri Sports Halls of Fame.
In retirement, Bob and Margaret traveled extensively and enjoyed catching up with their many friends throughout the United States including their annual trips “out west” and their winter months in Florida.
Bob is survived by his loving wife Margaret of nearly 63 years, daughter Brenda (Bret) Ambrose of Prairie Village, KS, son Bryan (Sherri) Chase of Louisburg, KS, and son Richard (Karen) Chase of Diamondhead, MS as well as three grandchildren (Brianna, Monica, and Christopher) and three great-grandchildren (Aubrey, Adria, and Russell) and many friends and extended family members. He was preceded in death by his beloved son Gary (1988), his parents and several brothers and sisters.
Visitation for friends and the public will be held at 12:30PM on Saturday, November 27th at the Johnson County Funeral Chapel 11200 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS followed by a celebration of life at 2:00PM with Reverend Melanie Hardison officiating and burial at the Johnson County Memorial Gardens (same address).