Hall of Fame
The Mid-Hudson USBC Hall of Fame will induct Kenneth Decker and
Nira Davis Gerken on
April 14, 2012 at Anthony's Pier 9.
Decker has been elected to the Hall of Fame for
Ability. Ken was born on August 8th, 1960 at St
Lukes Hospital, Newburgh to his parents, Gordon and
Madeline Decker. He has a sister Audrey and his late
brother Gordon. He grew up in the west end of the City
Ken resides in the west end of Newburgh, with his wife Angela
and 12 year old son Dominick. Ken also has a son Paul (26) and
daughter Amy (22) and has two grand children Daniel and Arianna.
Ken started bowling in 1972 when he entered junior high at North
Junior High School in Newburgh. The league had three coaches who
all helped him learn to bowl. They were Bob Merril, Lou
Martarano, and Carmela DeAngelo. He also credits Pat Tarsio Sr
and George Chiarmante, who owned the Pro Shop to learn the game.
In 1976 Ken was part of the Newburgh Free Academy team that won
the Section 9 team tournament. The biggest boost to his bowling
came in the summer of 1976 when he went to Dick Ritgerís PBA
Camp where PBA Hall of Famerís Wayne Zahn and George Pappas
coached him. He bowled in junior leagues until the spring of
Ken started bowling in adult leagues in the fall of 1977 and
quickly rose to be one of the better young bowlers in the area.
He had a high single season avg. of 231 and a lifetime avg of
210. He also had three 800 series, four 300 games, two 299
games. During his career he credits Tony Tarsio for his time and
advice. Ken was also a member of the PBA from 1978 to 1982.
Welcome to the Hall of Fame Ken!
Davis Gerken has been elected to the Hall of Fame for
Service. Nira, a member of our local womenís
association for over 40 years, was born in Newburgh and
began her bowling career at Empire Lanes in 1960, which
is where she caught the eye of her late husband, Richard
Gerken. Together they raised three children, Susan,
Cheryl and Walter. Nira is also grandmother to Jovanna,
Alea, Tyler and Ryan. A woman of caring nature, Nira
also assumed the care of her mother-in-law for 20 years.
Nira worked outside her home throughout her marriage in
the food service industry as both a waitress and a cook.
When Nira began to bowl at Bowling Time Lanes, she added
to her already busy life the duties of League Secretary
for the Tuesday Nite Ladies Classic League and the
Friday Nite Ladies Classic League. When the Tuesday Nite
Classic was moved to Tarsio Lanes in Newburgh, Nira
continued her service to her fellow bowlers until 2002.
Her service spanned a space of nearly 30 years, a
commendable feat. As those of you who have held the
office of secretary know, it is a demanding and
time-consuming job if it is done well. And Nira did it
well! Nira also supported the bowling community with
entrance into our local association tournaments on a
regular basis and in several WASA (Womenís All-Star)
tournaments. She also bowled in several national
tournaments and in the New York State Tournaments in
1974, 1979, 1984, 1989 and 1995. As you can see from
these few facts, Niraís life until her retirement was
crowded with her many roles. Yet she never waivered from
her love of her sport and her dedication to her fellow
bowlers. Congratulation, Nira! Thank you for your
service. You so richly deserve the honor of induction
into the Mid-Hudson Bowling Hall of Fame.