Juanita Weber, Matriarch of PBA’s Most Famous Family, Dies in St. Louis at Age 89
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Juanita Weber, wife of the late Professional Bowlers Association legend Dick Weber and matriarch of the PBA’s most famous family, died at a St. Louis assisted living center late Monday night. She was 89.
Juanita Weber, born on August 28, 1930, had been in declining health for some time. She was the mother of long-time PBA Midwest Region manager Rich Weber, daughter Paula Darmon, Director of PBA50 and PBA Regional Tours John Weber and 37-time PBA Tour champion and Hall of Famer Pete.
Juanita and Dick Weber had met in a bowling center when both were teenagers. According to the story she later told her children, Juanita went to the bowling center with a girl friend to watch a guy named Curt Heady bowl league. Her father, she had said, didn’t want her going to the “bowling alley” back then because “nice girls don’t hang out in bowling alleys.”
According to her story, her future husband approached her and said, “Don’t I know you?” That inconspicuous beginning grew into something much more serious after Dick bowled in the American Bowling Congress Championships Tournament, won some money and returned to Indianapolis with marriage on his mind. They were too young to be married without parental consent but got permission and were married in Indianapolis on Dick’s birthday, December 23, 1948.
Dick and Juanita moved to St. Louis shortly thereafter, where Dick joined the famous Budweisers of St. Louis and launched one of the most successful careers in bowling history.
Juanita also bowled. “I never bowled a 300 game, but I did win a state title,” she had said.
But her greatest claim to fame was her behind-the-scenes role as advisor and manager one of the most decorated families in bowling history. The legacy she leaves behind includes son Richard (Sue) Weber, Jr., daughter Paula (Jeff) Darmon, son John (Chris) Weber and son Peter (Renee) Weber; grandchildren Lisa, Brian, Nicole, Ashley-Marie, Nick, Ryan, Joshua, and Stacy; great-grandchildren Avery, Austin, Isla, Kaisen, Kamila, Leo, Hattie and Eli; and sister-in-law Sharon (Jim) Nizzola.
In keeping with family tradition and her wishes, Juanita Weber will be cremated. No funeral services will be held. The family asks that any memorials in her honor be donated to the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, 621 Six Flags Drive, Arlington, TX 76011.