Jeff Cathey - Proprietor of Red Bird Lanes, Duncanville passed away on November 1, 2016. (1953 - 2016)
Jeff battled cancer for a long time. We will miss you Jeff ! Thank you for your service to our association and the bowling industry. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family!
Jeff started bowling in 1963 at Berry Bowl in Ft. Worth when his mother (Lois Cathey) began working there. While his mom worked the counter, Jeff would have various “non-paying” jobs such as sharpening pencils, cleaning and spraying rental shoes, and cleaning telescores (this was way before automated scoring – we used those waxy yellow pencils!)
When the PBA came to Ft. Worth at Meadowbrook, Jeff would often be found watching, or perhaps keeping score for the pros (still before automated scoring).Jeff’s first paying job was as a “porter” at Bowlanes in Ft. Worth – this job title has since been upgraded to Lane Attendant.
Jeff learned to work on the machines from Jack Cole, Dwight Parks, and Jesse Mendez (Berry Bowl had AMF while Bowlanes had Brunswick) this job title was called Pin Chaser – assistant mechanic. He worked as the pin chaser at Berry Bowl, Bowlanes, Wedgewood, and Richland Bowl during his High School years. Don Parkinson first taught Jeff how to drill bowling balls. Jeff now has his own pro shop at Red Bird – he claims he is still learning.
Jeff graduated High School in 1971 and moved to the country (Gatesville Texas area) working various jobs including moving houses and construction. He met his wife Kay while living there and they married in 1974. Lois bought Red Bird Lanes in 1972. While she tried using other employees, she knew that she truly wanted a family business. She convinced Jeff and Kay to move Duncanville in 1976 and Jeffery was born in 1977. Jeff immersed himself into the business, doing whatever was needed, and learning all aspects of the business. Vacations would often consist of some tournament – maybe Nationals or a junior tournament that he would chaperone/coach. The conventions were always considered a great vacation, taking Jeff, Kay and Jeffery to fun places, and making such great friends.
Holidays always revolved around the business – Christmas Eve was at Bowling & Billiards, then Christmas day activities had to be worked around what time Red Bird opened, and if anyone needed last minute bowling balls drilled. While many things about bowling and the business have changed, one thing remains the same that Jeff truly loves bowling and the bowling business. He has given so much of his time and it shows through the customers and friends he has made over the past 40+ years.
Jeff worked tireless hours for the Texas Bowling Centers Association. He began as chairman of the youth committee in 1997. He ran grand prix tournaments for over 15 years driving countless hours across the state of Texas. Jeff was president of TBCA from 2005-2007. And then chairman of the board for another two years after from 2007-2009. He has steadily been involved for over 18 years helping the association grow. When High School bowling was developed in 2001 Jeff jumped in to help with the tournament process and continues to be involved with TBCA. Jeff was honored this year for the C.C. Bearden Jr award recognizing him for his outstanding contributions to our association and the bowling industry.
Previous nominees are Rick Goins, Dick Atkinson, Bill Taylor, Leon Laster, Jamie Brooks, C.C. Bearden, Win Cockrell, Lois Cathey, Jim Dykes, Lee Baird, Glen Pierce, Ben Brown and Ronnie Rhodes.