Philip A. Versace Sr., 97, of Fishkill, died April 29, 2019, surrounded by his family. He was a lifelong resident of Dutchess County.
Philip was born April 20, 1922, the eldest of 10 children of Antonio and Rose (Spadaro) Versace. He served from 1942 to 1946 in Europe, the Philippines and Japan, earning six medals.
After returning from the war, Philip became a master carpenter and worked for Velletri Construction Co.
Philip also became an excellent bowler. He became the first pro bowler from this area. This led to his owning and operating the Versace Bowlers Pro Shop for more than 50 years, most of them in the Mardi Bob Bowling Lanes. People came from all over for bowling advice and for him to drill their bowling balls. He competed in 56 National Bowling tournaments and won 44 titles.
Philip was inducted into the American Bowling Congress National Hall of Fame, the New York State Hall of Fame and many local area Hall of Fames. Most recently, in 2018, he was inducted into the Sports Museum of Dutchess County as the first “legend of Dutchess County.” He was president of the Dutchess County Bowlers Association and was instrumental in bringing the Empire Games to Dutchess County, where he won several of the senior events. He also wrote a column on bowling in the Poughkeepsie Journal from 1994 to 2008.
Phil met his wife, Lillian Jessen while she was bowling at the Dutchess Rec. They were married in 1951. She survives at home. He also is survived by a daughter, Rosemary Pinczes (Bela Pinczes) of Fishkill, and a son, Philip Versace Jr. of Poughkeepsie. In addition, he is survived by his grandchildren, Steven Pinczes of Florida, Timothy Pinczes of Fishkill, Francesca Pinczes Lewis of South Carolina, Daniel Versace of Poughkeepsie and Devin Versace Klaber of New Windsor, as well as six great-grandchildren, and his siblings, Teresa Milano of Poughkeepsie, Katherine Bracone and Dolores Shaughnessy (Edward) of Wappingers, John Versace of Poughkeepsie and Anthony Versace (Jenny) of Arizona.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, May 10, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Riverview Funeral Home by Halvey, 2 Beekman St., in Beacon. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, May 11, at 11 a.m. at St. Joachim Church in Beacon, with burial to follow at St. Joachim Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Sports Museum of Dutchess County, c/o S. McSween, 3 Sherwood Dr., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603.
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