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Alphonsus "Al" LaCrego, 52, owner of LaCrego's Bar & Lounge and a former professional bowler, died Wednesday (May 24, 1989) in St. Joseph Intercommunity Hospital, Cheektowaga.

LaCrego was one of the top classic league bowlers in Western New York when he retired in the early 1970s.

A Buffalo native, he began bowling professionally in 1955, after attending School 40 at 89 Clare St. and Kensington High School. He won the local qualifier for the All-Star Tournament in Chicago (now the U.S. Open) in 1961 and 1962. In 1961, he also won the singles title in the Buffalo Bowling Association's City Tournament.

He also was a member of the 1966 Simons' New York State Championship Tournament team and shared the City Tournament doubles title in 1972. He competed in 10 American Bowling Congress Tournaments and 15 state tournaments. He also appeared many times on the long-running bowling show "Beat the Champ" on WIVB-TV, Channel 4, and once went unbeaten 11 weeks in a row.

Only last week, he learned he had been nominated for the Buffalo Bowling Association's Hall of Fame.

LaCrego, a Cheektowaga resident, operated the lounge at 1097 Walden Ave. in Cheektowaga for 22 years. He was a member of the Professional Businessmen's Association and the Erie County Liquor Dealers Association.

Survivors include his wife, the former Janet R. Matyjasik; a daughter, Susan Bender of Buffalo; a son, Darren; two sisters, Patricia Sowinski of Sealy, Texas, and Frances Miano of North Tonawanda, and two grandchildren.

Prayers will be said at 9 a.m. Saturday at Matthew C. Okoniewski Funeral Home, 1168 Walden Ave. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 9:30 in St. John Gualbert Catholic Church, Gualbert at Doat Streets. Burial will be in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, Cheektowaga.

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