Bowler Fills Ball with Father's Ashes, Bowls Perfect Game

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An Illinois man found the perfect way to honor his father, an avid bowler who died several years ago. 

John Hinkle's father, John Sr., passed away in July 2016, according to WMBD-TV in Peoria, Ill. Since then, Hinkle has tried to find someone who would put some of his father's ashes in a bowling ball. On April 12, he finally used his special ball—filled with his dad's ashes—for the first time.

"I was talking to my brother and told him, ‘I’m shooting a 300 with this ball,' ” Hinkle told WMBD. “And Joe said, do it!"

Sure enough, he did. Hinkle, who won two NCAA bowling championships at Western Illinois, has bowled plenty of perfect games, but none like this. 

Hinkle, 39, uses both hands when he bowls. Because of that, he's not allowed to have three finger holes in his ball. He decided to fill the thumb hole with his father's ashes. 

The elder Hinkle never bowled a perfect game. He came agonizingly close, scoring 298 and 299. But he cultivated a love of bowling with his two sons from a young age, and John Jr. and his brother Joe still play on a local team. 

Both knew there would be no better way to honor their father than by John Jr. bowling a 300. 

"I had goosebumps, chills,” Hinkle told WMBD. “He was there. This is the best [300 game], and definitely the hardest. I was shaking.”