Feb. 21, 1949 – July 7, 2018
Glenn D. Voelker, longtime owner of Voelker’s Bowling Center, a beloved classic venue for the sport in Buffalo, died unexpectedly Saturday while vacationing in Baltimore. He was 69.
Born in Buffalo, the youngest of four children, he worked in the bowling center as a boy and attended Riverside High School and East Aurora High School.
He and his brother, Mark, took over operation of Voelker’s in the late 1970s from their parents, Edward and Frances Voelker, who installed the first set of lanes in 1941 in a former hotel and tavern that Edward’s father, Karl, had established at Elmwood Avenue and Amherst Street when he immigrated from Germany in 1892.
The Voelkers acquired their closest competitor, Kenmore Lanes, in 1979.
Mr. Voelker retired in 2008, two years after his brother’s death, but returned to work part time.
“It was his life,” said his daughter, Krista Voelker-Burt, who now operates Voelker’s and Kenmore Lanes. “After he retired, he said he could only fish so much, so he came back.”
Known to many as Uncle Glenn, he manned the front counter, was skilled at mechanical repairs and was always ready to help employees and customers.
A longtime resident of Black Rock and the West Side, he was a dog lover and a history buff. He also enjoyed traveling and fishing with his family.
In addition to his daughter, survivors include two sons, William and Ryan; a sister, Linda Winograd; a companion, Jo Jo Capizzi; and three grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. July 14 in Assumption Catholic Church, 435 Amherst St.