Ambrose Joseph 'Brose' Borkowski died Jan. 28, 2013, in Parkersburg, with his wife and children at his side.
He was born on April 11, 1921, the son of Anthony John Borkowski and Mary Barbara Kozlowski, in Wheeling, W.Va. Brose was an avid sports fan. His interest in sports began early in life, and reached the organized level when he played basketball for Wheeling Central High School. He led the Maroon Knights to back to back WV Parochial High School Championships in 1938 and 1939. He also played baseball for the 1938 state American Legion champions from Wheeling. After high school, he went to work at a dairy, and from his savings took flying lessons. After he soloed, he joined the Army Air Corps and served until 1945. During that time, one of his duties was to escort the remains of WWII soldiers back to their families. After discharge, he attended West Virginia University where he was a member of the 1945-46 Mountaineer basketball team. After he earned his degree in accounting, he reenlisted in the Army in 1949 and served until 1953.
Later in life, his love of sports was highlighted by his interest in Mountaineer football and basketball. Seldom did he miss listening to a game on radio or watching on television. In addition to cheering on his Mountaineers, Brose was a follower of the horses and visited many race tracks in the eastern part of the U.S. He was, however, maybe best known for a skill he perfected after his retirement from the Equifax Company. Starting small and working large, he became a master carver and juried as a West Virginia artisan specializing in birds. His work is proudly displayed by collectors across the United States. His greatest carving moment came when he was selected by the State of West Virginia to carve a bird that was displayed on a White House Christmas tree in 2002. As a result of that work, he and his wife attended a White House reception with First Lady Laura Bush. Brose was a member of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, and a retired member of the Knights of Columbus. He was an active member in the St. Joseph's Seminary Booster's Club and the Parkersburg Catholic Athletic Boosters.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Helen Balint Borkowski; eight children, Joseph (Sharyn) Borkowski of Holland, Mich., Mary (Emmett) Hendershot of St. Clairsville, Ohio, Edward (Arlene) of Vienna, W.Va., Monica (Ken) Davis of Parkersburg, W.Va., Greg (Lisa) Borkowski of Napoleon, Ohio, Steve Borkowski (Kathy) of Newburgh, Ind., Tom (Lori) Borkowski of Texas, and Marilyn (Ed) Schreckengost of Mineral Wells, W.Va.; and his brother, John of Fayetteville, N.C. He is also survived by grandchildren, Angela Blasinski (Jeff), Stephen Borkowski (Kristen), Matthew Borkowski (Vera), Angela Hendershot, Marissa Hendershot, Nathan Hendershot, Eric Borkowski (Erin), Andrew Borkowski, David Borkowski (Lindsay), Andrea Borkowski, Sara Borkowski, Michael Borkowski, Elizabeth Borkowski, Dan Borkowski, Drew Montgomery, Ryan Montgomery, Alex Schreckengost, Emily Schreckengost, Bobby Schreckengost (Amie), and Joni Schreckengost; 10 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Leo Borkowski and Ben Borkowski; and sister, Clara Vance.
A funeral Mass will be held 11 a.m. Friday at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, with Monsignor Joseph Peterson officiating. Burial will follow at Mt. Carmel Catholic Cemetery. Military graveside rites will be conducted by American Legion Post 15 of Parkersburg. Visitation will be 5-9 p.m. Thursday at Lambert-Tatman Funeral Home, 400 Green Street, Parkersburg, W.Va. The Rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m.
The family requests memorial donations be made to the Matthew 25 Food Cupboard at St. Margaret Mary Church, 2500 Dudley Avenue, Parkersburg, W.Va.
An online guestbook for condolences is available at www.lamberttatman.com