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PBA Hall of Famer Pete Couture dies at age 73

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Pete Couture of Cocoa, Fla., a 2016 inductee into the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame, died Saturday at his Florida residence of undetermined medical issues. He was 73.

“Another Hall of Famer and friend of mine has passed away,” said fellow PBA Hall of Famer Marshall Holman. “Pete was a great competitor and a good friend of mine for almost 40 years.”

“Pete was one of the toughest, hardest-working players our sport has ever seen,” added long-time friend Bill Spigner, a Connecticut native who grew up competing against Couture in New England.

Couture was born in Auburn, Maine, and spent many of his formative years in Windsor Locks, Conn. He was elected in the PBA50 Performance category based on his exceptional record for a minimum of 10 years as a “senior” competitor.

On the heels of a 24-year career as a PBA Tour competitor, when he won five standard PBA titles, Couture began his PBA50 career in 1995 when he earned PBA50 Rookie of the Year honors.

He won the first of nine PBA50 Tour titles in Reno in 1996, and captured a pair of USBC Senior Masters titles in 1998 (when he was selected as PBA50 Player of the Year) and 2002 (left). He is one of nine players – all PBA Hall of Famers – to earn both PBA50 Rookie and Player of the Year honors.

At the time of his retirement, he had earned $959,900 during his PBA career. In retirement, he operated a pro shop and coaching services at Shore Lanes in Merritt Island, Fla. He liked to say he was a “graduate of the school of hard knocks.”

“If it wasn’t for the senior (PBA50) tour I wouldn’t be here,” said Couture during his PBA Hall of Fame induction speech (featured photo). “The senior tour was a second chance and an opportunity to re-invent myself.

“I’m kind of overwhelmed,” Couture said. “It’s a dream come true. I think everyone who bowls for a living has a dream of getting into the hall of fame, and to have it actually happen is unbelievable.

“I went from being a so-called star to being a superstar in that one year,” he said of his four-title season in 1998 (pictured right at the ABC Senior Masters). “Everything came together. When I made match play, I was able to get to the show, and when I got to the show I was pretty successful. Everything went the right way for me that year.”

Growing up in New England, Couture won more than 20 state and local association titles in Maine and Connecticut. He was inducted into the Central Connecticut and Connecticut State Bowling Association Halls of Fame in 1993, and the USBC Hall of Fame in 2004.

In addition to his two USBC Senior Masters titles, he had five other top 10 Senior Masters finishes. Other notable USBC accomplishments included a second-place finish in the 1994 USBC Open Championships team event (with Bill Spigner, Rick and Ron Pollard, and Don Scudder – all USBC Hall of Famers). Over a span of 20 years he had a USBC Open Championships average of 203.

For a video profile of Couture’s career, click here. For a feature story about his formative years in Maine, read Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal writer Tony Blasi’s story following Couture’s PBA Hall of Fame induction by clicking here.

Information regarding services was not immediately available.

Herbert Bickel

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