Thu, November 30, 2023

NEBA Family Loses Honorary Member George Chikar

  • Apr 29, 2015
It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that honorary NEBA member George Chikar died in a car accident. George, New Britain, CT, was known by everyone who bowled NEBA regularly and also many bowlers in the Greater Central Connecticut Bowling Association since, in addition to driving all around New England at 94 years old, he drove to different centers to watch leagues bowl weekly. He always had a smile on his face and enthusiastically shared words of encouragement plus some advice for all the bowlers. I/we are not sure how many years he drove to NEBA but I recall someone telling me about 20 years ago that George has been at every NEBA he could remember. When who should throw the ceremonial first ball at the 50th Anniversary event was discussed, it was agreed upon that of all the people in NEBA history, George should throw the first ball. He was worried about bowling while using a walker and went to local centers to practice a few shots the week leading up to it. The support of the over 200 people at the ceremony and roar of the crowd when he knocked down nine pins is something anyone there won’t forget. It was recently that he shared he was starting to feel like he was growing old with health ailments slowing him down. At the NEBA last April, I engaged in a long, non-bowling conversation in which he expressed his fears that the VA nurses wanted him to move into assisted living even though he lived by himself and took care of himself. Full knowing that elderly people often “lose their voice” in the healthcare and social system, I asked him if he had family to help communicate with the nurses. He smiled, grabbed my hand and said “Becky you are my family” then looked up and down the lanes and added “and so is everyone else here.” I hope George realized he meant as much to all of us, as we meant to him. One of the NEBA members created a Facebook page “RIP George Chikar”. Please like this page and add a post. I/we plan to share this with Brenda who called him every morning to make sure he was okay and also with his family. I hope this will let all of them know how much George positively affected the lives of bowlers in New England and that he will be missed. (Written by Becky Kregling, NEBA Secretary)

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