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Obituaries: April 2024

April 1, 2024

Softball News Report

Robert G. Tschida

Robert “Bob” Tschida, 87, of St. Paul, Minn. died on Feb. 15, peacefully.

     Longtime St. Paul player, Bob was a member of several long-standing Minnesota senior teams for over two decades with Senior Softball USA.

     Bob lived his whole life in St. Paul and after serving in the Army, he worked for 35 years at Excel Energy before retiring in the late 1990s, according to his online obituary.

     “Bob was known to many as a coach and teammate,” states his obituary. “His coaching included: hockey at St. Luke’s, Highland area, and Central area; baseball at IHM, North End Legion and for the past 25 years at Highland Catholic grade school… He played baseball and softball for more than 40 years. He played on many senior softball championship teams and was on the Senior Olympic team winning a gold medal.”

     Bob was also honored by the Minnesota Twins and the Hot Stove league of America as an Honored Old Timer. In his spare time, he enjoyed attending sporting events, coffee with his St. Paul friends, family and telling stories and jokes.

     "I played with Bob for more than 20 years, we earned lots of national championships with the teams Coffee Cup 60, Minnesota/Miken 65s and Jimmy's Minnesota Gold 75s," remembered Dick Anderson, a long-time Minnesota Hall of Fame player and manager. "His quick reactions covered 3rd base with ease and even when he wasn't playing senior softball competitively, he always joined us in league play."

     Bob will also be remembered playing with Team Rehabilitation 85s (MN), Minnesota Masters 80s, and MN Legends 80s.

Ron Danoski

Ron Danoski, 75, of Oconto, Wisc. and Arizona, died on Feb. 19.

     Ron is remembered by the Senior Softball USA office as a longtime, well-liked player, starting with SSUSA in the early 2000s.

     Ron has been playing softball since he was 16 years old. Originally living in Arizona, Ron is remembered by players and teammates from the West Coast to the north-central United States. He was inducted into the Wisconsin and Illinois USSSA Hall of Fame in 1994 and 2007, respectively, and into the National Senior Softball Hall of Fame in 2011.

     “Ron was such a spirited player,” said Fran Dowell, Executive Director of SSUSA. “Each time I saw him he had a smile from ear to ear and was so looking forward to playing. He will be greatly missed.”

     Ron has played with Arizona Industrial Supply 55s, Chicago Classics (Red) 50s, GSF 60s (AZ), Greco/AZ Hitmen 60s, Full Circle 65s (CA), Elite 70s LVSSA (NV) and Handeland Flooring 70s (WI).

Joseph Bruno

Joseph Bruno, 83, of Burbank, Calif., died on March 31.

     Joe started senior softball with Senior Softball USA in the early 2000s, playing with many Southern California teams in his two-decade history.

     Joe played softball from an early age and continued it during his time in the Navy, according to his online obituary. “Born to play softball, from his days in the Navy playing underhand fast pitch to his last home run. He was born to be a champion on and off the field.”

     He will be remembered for playing with Palm Spring Diamonds 65s, El Paseo Bank 70s, Sons of Pitches 70s and Lighthouse 75s, all of California.

Robert McDonald

Robert William “Bill” McDonald Jr., 90, died of Montgomery, Tex. died on April 19.

     Bill had a long history of playing sports and started with Senior Softball USA over two decades ago.

     He began playing sports in high school and continued in the U.S. Army and into his 80s. “He was recruited for the U.S. Olympic track team, but, as the story goes, he missed the plane and was unable to compete,” according to his online obituary.

     “Bill played in several international tournaments, including the first tournaments to launch senior softball in Japan in the early 2000s,” said Terry Hennessy, SSUSA’s chief executive officer. “Bill was a big power-hitting Texan with an even bigger heart… and a great teammate.”

     He was also a man of many talents and hats, as he worked in the oil and engineering fields while owning several businesses his life, including a furniture store, transportation company and asphalt/paving company. He was very active in local livestock shows and rodeos, volunteering much of his time and served as a city councilman for Deer Park, Tex. When not working or volunteering, Bill enjoyed barbeque and often participated in local cook-offs.

     Bill will be remembered for attending international tournaments in Australia, Austria, Europe, Holland, Japan, and New Zealand; as well as Texas teams: Renegades 70, Houston Golden Eagles 70, and Local Deer Park Team.

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