October 4, 2023
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of a remarkable museum board member and benefactor in the world of bowling, Bill Chrisman, at the age of 74, leaving behind a legacy of innovation in business and a rich history of charitable efforts.
Together with his wife, Barbara, Bill Chrisman co-founded Storm Products Inc., which has burgeoned into one of the top manufacturers in the bowling industry. His transformative innovations began with the introduction of the pioneering U Clean / U Score Urethane Bowling Ball Cleaner, followed by the establishment of a dedicated bowling ball manufacturing facility. The year 2000 saw Bill alter the industry landscape with a striking innovation — scented bowling balls — a move that was both unique and unprecedented, indelibly altering the sensory experience of the sport and solidifying Storm's pivotal role in the evolution of bowling.
Bill's unwavering dedication to the bowling community transcended his business ventures, as he became a prominent figure in charitable circles, ensuring the upliftment and advancement of the industry to which he was so deeply devoted.
Serving as a board member at the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame since 2001, Bill demonstrated a commitment to preserving and enhancing the rich history of bowling. His substantial donations and tireless work over the years were pivotal in advancing the museum’s mission and initiatives.
In early 2024, the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame, in collaboration with Storm, will launch a new exhibition in Arlington, Texas, aimed at exploring and elucidating the scientific elements of the sport, thereby continuing to educate and inspire future generations of bowlers and enthusiasts. Bill was instrumental in starting this project.
Bill’s charity work was both broad and inclusive, supporting various causes such as Susan G. Komen Bowl for the Cure and Make-A-Wish Utah, to numerous events like Ballard vs. The Big “C” and the Hall of Fame Xtravaganza. His benevolence spread across different sectors of the community, always with a goal of making a substantial, positive impact.
Moreover, his contributions towards education were evident through his company’s sponsorship of many collegiate bowling teams and the establishment of the Storm Youth Championships. These initiatives provide not only a platform to showcase young, emerging talent in bowling but also offer scholarship opportunities, safeguarding the future of the sport and its athletes.
Supporting both seasoned and upcoming athletes, Bill sponsored numerous tournaments, including the USBC Senior Queens, National Golden Ladies Classic and the PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles. His approach was always to foster and uplift talent at all levels, ensuring a vibrant and inclusive future for the bowling community. Bill Chrisman conducted his charitable efforts quietly yet with significant impact, often staying out of the spotlight, but always ensuring that the recipients of his generosity could shine.
As we mourn this loss, we simultaneously celebrate and honor the rich legacy left by Bill. His innovative spirit in business and unyielding support of charitable causes will continue to inspire and guide the bowling community and beyond for generations to come.
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