Loa J. Boxberger

Loa J. Boxberger, far right, and Jesse Owens, third from left, were good friends throughout her career. Boxberger died at age 81 in Carefree.

Renowned bowler Loa J. Boxberger died Dec. 20 at the Heritage at Carefree. She was 81. 

Boxberger had a successful career. Her association with Brunswick included traveling as an ambassador for them with her good friend, track and field star Jesse Owens. 

Inducted into the U.S. Bowling Congress Hall of Fame in 1984, Boxberger earned major titles in the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to winning the USBC Queens, she won two USBC Women’s Championships team titles, two Japan Pearl Cup events and the Brunswick Red Crown Classic.

According to bowl.com, her win at the Brunswick Red Crown Classic in 1974 served as a groundbreaking moment in women’s bowling as it was the first nationally televised PWBA tournament. She received a then-record $12,500 for the win.

Boxberger was named commissioner of the Ladies Pro Bowler Tour in 1985. Boxberger was named to the Bowlers Journal All-American team three times (1967-68, 1970-71 and 1973-74) and was inducted to the Kansas State USBC Hall of Fame in 1976.

Born July 7, 1939, Boxberger maintained homes in Carefree and her hometown of Russell, Kansas. 

“Loa was an accomplished and successful woman in many fields of sports and business,” said friend Scott Rockwell. “She was a beautiful and astute woman of unquestionable substance and character, all accentuated by her easy smile and wonderful sense of humor.”

Boxberger was predeceased by her parents, Walt and Margret Wilson, and her husband, Mark. She is survived by her longtime friend and companion, Don Everett, of Carefree.

Due to COVID-19, services are not planned.