“Tink” – First Lady of California Bowling Passes

by Mary Lynly – California Bowling Writers

Virginia (Tink) Wasina 10/21/1930 – 2/14/2018 CWBA Hall of Fame 1998

After suffering several years with Alzheimer’s, “Tink” – as we all knew her, mercifully passed away on Valentine’s Day in Sacramento, California.

Her children lovingly looked after her making it possible for her to live in her own space until she needed specialized care for Alzheimer patients.

For all who knew her, she was loved for the many talents she had and the person she was. She was instrumental in the Sacramento Women’s Bowling Association, and was a bowling Clinician for the California Women’s Bowling Association. She gave numerous clinics throughout the state teaching others to teach and even wrote an Instructional Manual for her students.

Agnes Duffy, CWBA President and the ever engineer of good ideas, asked Tink, an accomplished instructor, to develop a Bowling Instructors Course and a Manual. The idea, of course, was to educate bowlers to help people bowl better.

The courses and workshops backed by CWBAwere free of charge and sought after by the associations.

Tink held a successful tournament for many years called “Tink’s Tournament” held in California and Nevada and was a part of a trio with Mary Lynly and Debbie Haggerty and Barbara Metzinger who hosted the California State Team USA Qualifying for several years and even the National Qualifying where several Californian’s like Linda Barnes and Rhino Page and others went on to National prominence. She was much honored and inducted into the Sacramento WBA Hall of Fame and the California Women’s Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 1998.

Tink and her husband Mike became part of a group who bought Fireside Lanes in Citrus Heights (now owned by Steve Cook) and later they sold and bought El Rancho Bowl in West Sacramento. Under her leadership the bowl was under tight management. She was good with the numbers and kept an eye on everything including offering her employees the opportunity to be owners making them loyalists who treated the bowl like their own. She would often clean the women’s bathrooms because she said the men janitors just didn’t have the same vantage point! She was 100 percent into managing her centers and knew every bowler by name – helped anyone who needed help and built leagues that loved coming in to bowl and lasted.

She was a devoted wife and mother to her children Mike (Pam), Rich (Gail) and Linda plus numerous grandkids. She was always there to help when needed and was a great cook plus having taught all of her “girls” to make Syrian bread Mike’s mother had taught her to make. She had known her husband Mike (who was Syrian) since she was a teenager and they were married for 63 years. She was always willing to take someone in who needed help and just took it in stride.

A beautiful person inside and out, and devoted friend, she never gossiped or said negative things about anyone. She had numerous Schnauzers – a dog breed she loved until she could no longer live on her own. She had a simple beginning. Her family were Sharecroppers that came here from Oklahoma when she was small and she recalled living in a large refrigerator box in Visalia (which she thought was neat.) Her parents were diligent and saved and eventually came to Sacramento area and settled in Rio Linda where her father bought five acres and built their home. The boys and wives still live on that property where they have raised their families. Tink always strived to do her best and look her best. As she was out in the bowling public more she researched ways of building a wardrobe where she would always look her best.

She recalled having been at a friend’s home and their kitchen was so organized it really impressed her. She came home and completely dismantled the kitchen at home and reorganized it. She was so proud but…her mother was furious saying she couldn’t find a darned thing! Apparently this was the beginning of her “reorganizing” as she was constantly changing her furniture around! A person who left everything better than she found it, I treasure the many good times I had with Tink, playing cards, having dinner at each other’s homes and even agonizing over watching her deal with the Alzheimer’s. She touched many people who will always have fond memories of her.

An announcement of a Celebration of Life will be forthcoming in time.

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