Respectfully Submitted by Dave Williams
Not a lot is know about Ken Lowman in the world of bowling. He came to us from the music and film industry, where he was best known for writing the music score of more than 100 Popeye cartoons. He was also an accomplished musician and played the bassoon in a Hollywood film orchestra.
Lowman purchased the California Bowling News in the early 1970’s. He would continue in that position until he sold the paper to bowling magnate Charles Kinstler and Carol Mancini in 1989. In a time when many weekly bowling publications were closing, Lowman kept the California Bowling News alive. It remains, along with the New Jersey Sports Reporter, the longest running weekly publication, with both journals beginning in 1940.
Ken was a member of the National Composers Hall of Fame. He was also elected to the Southern California Bowling Writers Hall of Fame in 1993, and the Los Angeles Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 1990, along with Roy Rogers, another famous personality from outside the bowling world.
Lillian Oak, Advertising Manager for the California Bowling News, worked for Ken for all those years. She commented that Mr. Lowman loved shirts with snap pockets, like the ones that Roy Rogers wore, because he would never lose anything.
Lillian went on to say that Mr. Lowman would constantly be receiving checks from over 40 countries, some as small as 15 cents, as a result of residuals from his Popeye cartoons and other musical affiliations.
While I was stationed in Southern California for AMF circa 1979-80, I used to enjoy my weekly visits to the California Bowling News to provide bowling scores from the AMF Bowling Centers and discuss advertising placements for the next week.
Lowman was a complex and quiet individual. He was married to Roseanne (Heinz) Lowman, a program director from Bowling Square in Arcadia, California. I remember Ken telling me that she was so good at her job that he couldn’t say no, so he married her.
When Ken sold the California Bowling News, he and Roseanne moved to Las Vegas, and eventually to Gardnerville, Nevada. I occasionally would call or write Ken, and his glowing reports of Gardnerville made me seek it out on internet real estate sites. He was always so upbeat and positive that he made me want to move there.
That same jovial attitude rubbed off on his entire staff at the California Bowling News. It was a joy to know Ken, Lillian, Betty Sato and Yvonne Buchanan. Thanks to all of the bowling writers that voted for Ken Lowman, a fitting tribute to a man that kept bowling alive in troubled times.
(Both Ken and Roseanne Lowman are deceased. The California Bowling News has requested that his award be donated to the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame).