Mark Roth
Mark Roth
Mark Roth

Obituary of Mark S. Roth

Mark S. Roth, bowling legend, also known as magic Smarker, the G.O.A.T and The Great Mark Roth, of Fulton, NY, passed away on Friday, November 26, 2021, with his wife by his side. He was born in Brooklyn, NY to the late Sidney and Hilda Roth. Mark was predeceased by a sister, Reece, and Mark’s beloved cat Sierra who he nicknamed Godzilla. Mark is survived by his loving wife Denise Roth (McKinney); daughter, Stephanie Roth; stepchildren Mark MacIntyre, Kimberly (David) Gorton; grandchildren, Hunter, Tanner, Macean, Ella; extended family, his bowling family, many friends, and many fans. Mark was a member of his high school bowling team at Sheepshead Bay High School, Brooklyn, NY. He also worked at a local bowling alley in Brooklyn called Rainbow Lanes where he was self-taught how to bowl, and at such a young age decided he would become the greatest bowler in the world and practiced every day. He later went on to purchase Rainbow lanes once he made it big on the PBA Tour. Roth is a member of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) Hall of Fame (inducted 1987) and the United States Bowling Congress (USBC) Hall of Fame (inducted 2009). He has 34 PBA national titles and was the second professional bowler to surpass $1,000,000 in career winnings, with Anthony being the first. His eight titles won in 1978 are still the PBA record for a single season, topping the previous mark of seven titles held by Dick Weber (1961) and Billy Hardwick (1969). Roth won another six titles in the 1979 season while collecting his third consecutive PBA Player of the Year award. He won two major titles, in the U.S. Open and Touring Players Championship, both in 1984, while winning his fourth PBA Player of the Year award that season. Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Roth attacked the Tour in 1970 with a cranking, hard-throwing style that created a generation of imitators now prevalent throughout the sport. After finishing 2nd to Don Johnson in the 1972 Brunswick World Open, Mark's first televised appearance, he followed that up with a fifth-place finish in the PBA National Championship. It was then that Roth decided to bowl on the Tour full-time. Roth shot a 299 during the televised finals to win his first PBA title at the 1975 King Louie Open in Overland Park, Kansas. Roth repeated the feat, shooting a 299 during the televised finals of the 1987 Greater Buffalo Open in Cheektowaga, New York. Never one to rest on his laurels, Roth not only surpassed the great Earl Anthony's all-time PBA earnings record on the 1987 Fall Tour, but also added his 33rd PBA title in the Greater Buffalo Open and won the No. 7 PBA Invitational (not counted as an official PBA title) in Toronto a week later. Roth won PBA Player of the Year honors in 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1984. He won the George Young Memorial Award for the highest average on Tour in six different seasons, including a then-record 221.699 in '79. That same year Mark also won the "Great and Greatest" tournament paired with Don Ellis (also not counted as an official PBA title). Mark finished his career with 34 Tour titles and $1,619,136 in earnings. He also owns two PBA50 Tour titles. On October 6, 2006, Roth won the very first Generations Bowling Tour event, defeating Dale Eagle in the final, 237-234, and averaging 241 over the three-game stepladder final. Despite the power he generated, Roth was also one of the best spare shooters of all time. He is notable for being the first bowler to pick up the 7-10 Split on television on January 5, 1980, at the ARC Alameda Open at Mel's Southshore Bowl in Alameda, California. He remains the only right hander to ever have convert the 7-10. In addition, Roth utilized a unique delivery, primarily five steps, but sometimes six or seven pins. On May 30, 2009, Mark Roth suffered a stroke which left him partially paralyzed on his left side. His rehabilitation was ongoing, but Roth was seen in late March 2010 on his feet and moving around at the Geico Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship, a PBA Tournament named in his honor. Mark also made a special guest appearance at the Annual Upstate University Hospital - Strikes Against Stroke at Flamingo Bowl in Liverpool, NY over the years. On March 6, 2011, as part of the 2011 Mark Roth Plastic Ball Championship, he rolled the honorary first ball for the televised finals and downed seven pins. The PBA since hosts a nationally televised Roth/Holman Double’s tournament each year to date. In November 2019, Mark suffered from a second stroke and remained in a long-term care facility only a few miles from home, where he continued to work hard hoping for rehabilitation. Mark was an amazing person who had a huge impact on many lives throughout his years. He had a great love for his family, bowling, Rangers, and life in general. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. Mark’s family would like to extend a huge Thank You to Seneca Hill’s long-term care facility, family, friends, bowling family, and fans for all their love and care through-out the years. Special thanks to so many but we will not forget friend Chris Monroy. We thank Tom Clark PBA commissioner for all you have done for us and for the sport of bowling. A celebration of Mark’s life will be held at a date and time to be announced. To leave a special message for the family, please visit click the tribute button. Mark’s favorite song to play just before he was ready to bowl was by Kansas “Carry on, my wayward son, there’ll be peace when you are done. Lay your weary head to rest, don’t you cry no more” Many refer to Mark as the Babe Ruth of bowling…Sandlot movie Babe Ruth quote: “Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. Follow your heart kid and you’ll never go wrong”. We will love you forever, Mark!
A Memorial Tree was planted for Mark
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Foster Funeral Home
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