Wilson "Val" Medich Sr.

January 14, 1928 ~ July 18, 2018 (age 90)

Wilson Valazar Medich Sr, 90 of South Bend passed away on July 18 2018 after a long battle with dementia. Val was born in South Bend on January 14, 1928 to Jandrija and Mika (Prica) Medich.

In the bowling community, Val was affectionately known as “Pops”.

On September 17, 1949, Val married Adeline Bogunia who preceded him in death on May 1, 2008. This marriage produced 6 children, all of whom survive. Daughters: Diane Piper, Donna (Bob) May, Valerie (Jon) Phillips and Jennifer Medich. Sons: Nick (Lisa) and Wilson Val (Lynda) Jr. 15 Grandchildren: Granddaughters: Michelle Piper-Wright, Liz and Ashley Phillips, Jody Medich, Rachael Stephens, Erica Young, Adria Anderson, Abbey Evanoff and Kelsey Medich. Grandsons: Seth Stephens, Nicholas, Jacob and Jon Medich, Joshua and Jared Curcio and 22 Great Grandchildren

Val graduated from Riley High School in 1946, then proudly served in the United States Navy.

He spent the majority of his life working in bowling alleys as both a mechanic and manager. He was the manager/ mechanic of the original Parkway Lanes for well over 20 years. He also worked at Chippewa Bowl, Beacon Bowl, Indiana Club, Eagles Lodge and the PNA Club. For several years, his summers were spent on the road with Classic Bowling Products refinishing bowling lanes throughout the Midwest. When Val left Classic, he started his own lane refinishing business “Val Medich Bowling Service”, which he owned and operated for 12 years.

Val began bowling while participating in a Serbian National Federation Basketball Tournament in 1949. Thankfully, there was a bowling alley in the basement of the Serbian Club. He then started bowling more when he found out he could win money at it. He would bowl for a dollar a game, which didn’t support his life, but the winnings certainly helped.

Val would often say that he loved dancing more than he did bowling. He excelled at dancing the Jitterbug (In double time), the Polka, the Kolo and any other dance he could impress the ladies with. Val was an avid card player, he loved to play Pinochle, Tonk, Poker, Gin, Buck Euchre and the family holiday tradition “Dirty Hearts”. He was difficult to beat on a pool table, even into his late 80’s. He was very good at planning out his shots 5 or 6 at a time and could put the cue ball wherever he needed it. Bowling and pool winnings helped to support his large family. Difficult Crossword Puzzles were also a lifelong hobby. Val also enjoyed the slot machines before they became paper only. He loved the sound of the coins dropping.

Val is the most recognized and accomplished bowler in the South Bend/Mishawaka area and was well respected and known throughout the state of Indiana. Val is one of only 3 bowlers in the world to have competed in 50 USBC Nationals (51) and 50 Petersen Classics. These were two major milestones for him to achieve. In the year 2000, Val was named as the South Bend Bowling Associations “Bowler of the Century”.

Val won the 1969 Indiana State Scratch All-Events Championship, many city tournaments in both Mishawaka and South Bend, several Michiana Bowlers Association titles and every award you could possibly receive bowling in leagues. He was the first bowler in the area to average over 200 and the first to roll a 700 series. He had countless 700 series and 18 300 games. 3 of those 300 games came after he reached the age of 70 with his last coming at the age of 78 years old.

In the Michiana Bowlers Association (MBA), Val served as a director from the very first year until the late 1990’s. He won the MBA’s Bowler of the Year award, Comeback Bowler of the Year award, Sportsmanship award and Presidents award.

Val is a member of the Indiana State Bowling Association Hall of Fame, the South Bend Bowling Association Hall of Fame, the Mishawaka Bowling Association Hall of Fame, the Michiana Bowlers Association Hall of Fame and the Petersen Classic (Chicago) Hall of Fame.

Val won Serbian National Federation Bowling Events several times within a 50-year span, his last championship was in Windsor, Ontario in 2006.

According to Val, the accomplishment in bowling he was most proud of was with the success of all of the bowlers he taught. Many of these bowlers have credited Val for their success during their own Hall of Fame induction speeches. If you showed interest in bowling and would listen, Val was more than willing to teach you. Interestingly, this would backfire at times, he would even help bowlers while competing against them. But that was the type of person he was. It wasn’t about winning or losing, it was about his love for the sport.

Val was especially loving and proud of his family and how close they have all remained throughout the years. Memory Eternal.

Surviving siblings are: Dan Medich, Della Stevanovich, Very Vranic and Betsy Corthier. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers Walt, Bob and Steve Medich and sisters Dorothy Medich and Mary Gardini.

Viewing will take place on Monday, July 23, 2018 from 2-8 in the Sts. Peter & Paul Serbian Orthodox Hall, 59248 Keria Trail, South Bend, IN 46614, with a prayer service at 7:00pm.  Viewing will also take place on Tuesday, July 24th from 9-10am in the Sts. Peter & Paul Serbian Orthodox Church.  Funeral services will be celebrated at 10:00am Tuesday in the church with burial with military honors to follow in Southlawn Cemetery. Zahoran Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.  Memorial contributions may be made to Sts. Peter & Paul Serbian Orthodox Church.  To leave an online condolence visit our website

Donations may be made to:

Sts. Peter & Paul Serbian Orthodox Church
59250 Keria Trail, South Bend IN 46614

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