Six-time Professional Bowlers Association Tour champion Les Schissler of Brighton, Colo., died Saturday, Sept. 7 at the age of 83.
Schissler won the 1967 All-Star Tournament (now the U.S. Open) for his only major title. He experienced a resurgence in his pro career in 1983 when he finished fourth in the United States Bowling Congress (then American Bowling Congress) Masters at the age of 53.
“Les was a good, steady, solid bowler,” said Hall of Famer Carmen Salvino. “If the (lane) condition ever called for bowling from the corner of the lane, he was unbeatable. He had one of the classic styles in the sport and was very accurate.”
Schissler, a member of the USBC Hall of Fame, won three titles in the Classic Division at the 1966 USBC Open Championships, taking the singles crown with a 760 series, the all-events title with a 2,112 total and he was a member of the Shur-Hooks team that captured the team title.
In 1967 in Miami Beach, Fla., he bowled a 300 game in the USBC Classic Team event, the first 300 game ever rolled in team competition of the prestigious tournament.
“He was pretty quiet and even-tempered and that was probably one of the keys to his success,” said PBA historian Chuck Pezzano. “He was consistent and always kept the ball in play. Sometimes you didn’t even know he was there until he did something great on the lanes.”
Schissler would post 12 top-10 finishes in his Open Championships career. He was a member of teams that took second in the Classic Team division in 1964 (Bel Mateo Bowl), 1968 (Ebonite) and 1977 (Gus’s Gutters).
Schissler, who was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in 1991 for Superior Performance, took up the sport at age 27 and joined the Professional Bowlers Association Tour four years later in 1962.
He won the first of his five standard PBA Tour titles in the Indianapolis 500 Open in Indianapolis in July 1963.
He also competed on the PBA50 (formerly Senior) Tour where he had best finishes of third in 1987 and fifth-place finishes in 1985 and 1990.
Schissler was a two-time selection to Bowling Magazine’s All-America team (1966, 1967) and also was honored with the PBA Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award in 1976. He was selected to the Denver Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 1986.