Claude O'Neil Ingram
Claude O'Neil Ingram
  • November 10, 1920 - December 28, 2017
  • Winston Salem, North Carolina

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Frank Vogler & Sons

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Winston-Salem, NC 27106
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Claude O'Neil Ingram joined his Heavenly family on December 28, 2017. Claude was born on November 10, 1920 to the late Rosa and Frederick Ingram in Ridgeland, SC. His childhood was spent in Ridgeland where he loved spending time at the railroad station with his dad. Ridgeland High was fortunate to have Claude's participation in their football and basketball programs. Little did Claude know that another sport would eventually become the heart and soul of his life---BOWLING! Bowling entered Claude's life along with brothers, Henry, Arch and Arthur, when they built a homemade duck pin lane for an amusement park run by Henry at Folly Beach, SC. In 1938, Claude, Arthur and Arch entered Clemson University when it was known as Clemson Agricultural College. While sophomores, the 3 brothers decided to transport the homemade duck pin lanes from Folly Beach to Clemson where they operated a bowling center in Clemson until graduation. They were and still are to this day the only three siblings to have graduated from Clemson in the same year, 1942.
Claude's bowling dream took a backseat with the outbreak of WWII. Claude entered the US Army assigned to the 136 Regiment, 33rd Infantry Division on September 23, 1942. He served active duty from 1942-1946 in the Asiatic Pacific Theatre. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon, and the WWII Victory Medal. Claude was honorably discharged as a Captain from the US Army Reserve on December 10, 1953.
Bowling was fortunately resurrected after the war. Claude and his 2 brothers, Arthur and Arch, opened Ingram Bowling Center in Wilmington, NC. Arthur soon opened a center in Raleigh, NC and Claude began operating a 20 lane center in Columbia, SC while Arch remained in Wilmington. Great things awaited Claude in Columbia. Nita Stoddard entered his life and they were married July 1, 1951. Nita was instrumental in Claude's success as a bowling proprietor. He could not have done it without her love and support. Sadly, Nita preceded Claude in death in 2002 after a hard fought 18 month battle with lung cancer.
1954 proved to be an exciting year for Claude as he hosted the 1st SC State Bowling Tournament. In 1957 the bowling business finally landed Claude and Nita in Winston-Salem with the opening of Church Street Lanes. This establishment was the first center in NC to incorporate fully automatic pin setting. Unfortunately a fire destroyed the center, but that did not impede Claude's successful bowling career. Claude partnered with Bill Satterfield for a short time and opened Expressway Lanes.
Finally in 1960, his ultimate bowling dream became a reality when Northside Bowling Lanes was established. Claude eventually partnered with co-owner Tim Setzer until 1988 when he handed over his portion to his son Freddie. Upon Claude's retirement, Freddie and Tim maintained operations while still under Claude's watchful eye. After Tim's death in 1997, Freddie and Claude continued working as father and son until the sale of the business in 2006. Claude O'Neil Ingram's contribution to the sport of bowling was exceptional and he was loved by the bowling community.
Claude not only enjoyed the bowling business. He was a long time member of the Roddick Sunday School Class at Knollwood Baptist Church. He loved playing golf. He enjoyed taking his family boating, camping, go-carting, horseback riding, on annual beach trips, and of course to Clemson football and basketball games. He bled orange and loved Clemson University til the day he died! He was loved by the people around him for his sweet spirit and giving heart. What a great legacy Claude O'Neil Ingram left to his family.
Claude is survived by two children, Frederick O'Neil Ingram (Jeanenne Carr) and Pamela Ingram Robinson (Ron Volger); six grandchildren, Landon Ingram, Megan Ingram, Wade Ingram, Anna Simpson(James), Mary Kathryn McCoy (Nick), and Luke Robinson; and four great grandchildren, Audrey, Angelina, Charleston and Elwyn.
A celebration of Claude's life will be held on January 6, 2018 at Knollwood Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC. The family will receive visitors from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The service will begin at 11 a.m. followed by the burial at Forsyth Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name may be made to Knollwood Baptist Church, 330 Knollwood St., Winston-Salem, NC 27104 or to Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, 1420 East 7th Street, Charlotte, NC 28204.