101-year-old bowler inspires the league with kindness and skill

Could be one of the oldest bowlers in the nation to score a 267

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Monday morning means bowling at ABC West in Mechanicsburg for seniors 50 and older. Dozens of bowlers flock to the bowling alley each week to compete in one of the biggest senior leagues in the country, but few bowlers are more inspiring than Tim Tangeman.

“It’s a joy,” said teammate Debbie Sica. “It’s a journey. I call him Timmy. I’ve never heard anyone else call him Timmy, but I call him Timmy. He’s just a lover.

Timmy has been bowling for a long time, as the Perry County resident is 101 years old. And every week, several times a week, he goes to Mechanicsburg to go bowling with friends.

“It’s something to do to get you out of the house,” Tangeman said. “I started with a group of friends, but I’m the only one still doing it.”

It’s a chance to be with other midstate seniors and stay active.

“If they couldn’t come here and bowl, I don’t know what they would do,” Sica said.

For Tim, it’s just a chance to keep bowling.

“I wanted to maintain my average, at least in the middle,” Tim said. “And that’s pretty much where it is.”

He is a mild-mannered man, who spent five years serving in World War II. His career took him to the Pentagon, then to the State Department. He and his wife moved to Gettysburg in 1982.

Photo courtesy of Debbie Fahnestock

In search of more space, the couple moved to Perry County, before Tim’s wife died in 1993. So bowling and good friends give him something to do and look forward to every week.

“A lot of people retire and they don’t do anything, which is not good,” Sica said. “Bowling keeps you going, and anyone can do it at any age.”

And Tim doesn’t just bowl, he’s a great bowler. Just a few months ago, the 101-year-old threw a 267. Something ABC West says could cement him in the national record books.

“He gets really mad when he doesn’t do well and I said to him, ‘Tim, you’re 101,'” teammate Dean Tripp said. “He says it doesn’t matter. But he’s a nice person and that would help [me] if I copied it.

He doesn’t have an answer as to the key to life, but he’s a damn good example of how to live a good life.

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