July 29, 2008

Student Center honors Villani’s contributions

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- For nearly three decades, Henry Villani was the manager of Bowling and Billiards at the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Student Center. This summer the center hosted a memorial celebration in his honor, recognizing his years of service and devotion. His photo and a nameplate now hang near the entrance to the Bowling and Billiards area.

Villani was actually the first Bowling and Billiards manager and served under Clarence “Doc” Dougherty and John W. Corker, the Student Center’s first two directors. Villani gets credit for originating the Monday Night Faculty/Staff Bowling League. Now named in his honor, the league is still going strong.

Sharing in the celebration of Villani and his contributions to the Student Center and SIUC were his widow, Minnie Villani of Carbondale, along with daughters Mary Beth Lemke of California and Ruth Ann O’Kane of Massachusetts and their families. His son, Hank Villani, of Mount Vernon was unable to attend the event.

Family members recall Henry Villani’s love for his job at the Student Center and said the Bowling and Billiards area was his life.