Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



PASSAGES Local bowling legend, Wordle enthusiast Mary Ann Graziano
by Alec Karam

This article shared 1508 times since Fri Nov 10, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Mary Ann Graziano was a fervent Wordle player, avid bowler and an ace golfer. But above all else, she was a friend to many.

The Palatine native died Oct. 9 at the age of 82, after a long illness that left her in and out of the hospital over the last year of her life.

Graziano spent years working in banks, but she's best known by many for banking strikes at the bowling alley.

Dar Cole met Graziano when the two were members of rivaling teams at an all-women's Friday night bowling league at Timber Lanes in the '90s. Although Graziano could wipe the floor with the rest of them, she was always gracious and not the type to rub it in someone else's face, Cole fondly remembered.

Windy City Times Publisher Terri Klinsky, another member of the that '90s lesbian league (and who was on Graziano's same team), said Graziano "was always kind, fun and the best bowler on the team."

Graziano had a tough exterior, said Cole, who was initially intimidated by her. Once she got to know Graziano's "great sense of humor," though, she realized Graziano was the life of the party. The league would get together outside the bowling alley regularly, gathering annually for the Super Bowl and New Year's Eve. Graziano loved to dance, Cole added.

"She had this little routine she did to Proud Mary which was hysterical, and we all wish we had video of it," Cole said. "She was just such a very social, good person, the kind of person you want to be friends with."

After their evening bowl, the teams would hang out at the now-closed Lost and Found bar on Irving Park Road— which they'd once dubbed "Menopause Manor" since "the older lesbians went there"—drinking into the after hours.

"My God, we had so much fun," Cole added.

The league eventually disbanded in the late '90s and Cole lost touch with Graziano. But Cole followed Graziano through Facebook, where Graziano was a regular poster. She said she'd always worry when Graziano wouldn't post her Wordle score, as she knew it was one of her favorite hobbies, and Graziano kept her followers updated on her daily streak.

Graziano continued to bowl for many years, most recently as a beloved member of the Waveland Bowlerettes on Wednesdays at the Waveland Bowl, where she was dubbed "Cougar."

"Good bowler, good friend. When we hear thunder, we know she's bowling more strikes," the team wrote in a Facebook post following her death. "Cougar, the lights may be off in your lane but our memories will always light up our hearts!"

Teammate Polly Chagnon added Graziano was "the ultimate team captain."

"Waveland Bowlerettes will never be the same," she wrote.

Though bowling was a favorite hobby of Graziano's, she was also an all-around sports enthusiast who both loved the Cubs and was a passionate golfer. Graziano was a member of the Makray Ladies 18 Hole Golf League in Barrington, helping with scheduling and running the team's blog. She was also an engaged member of her community, serving as the board president of Ethans Glen Homeowners' Association.

Graziano was part of a large Italian family, and was dear friends with her cousins who all grew up in the Chicago area. Graziano "had the same good humor as her dad and the energy of her mom," her cousin Billie Ann Keirstead wrote on Facebook.

"She loved playing golf and spent her retirement doing what she loved to do. She had a good life and will be missed by those who knew her and loved her," Keirstadt added. "Never take tomorrow for granted."

Along with Keirstead, Graziano is survived by many cousins, as well as her aunt Angeline DeMonte and uncle Bernard Marasa. Her parents, Joseph and Ann Graziano, preceded her in death.

The family has encouraged donations to the Road to Recovery program at the American Cancer Society in honor of Graziano and the School Sisters of Notre Dame.

This article shared 1508 times since Fri Nov 10, 2023
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By


Gay News

BOOKS Lucas Hilderbrand reflects on gay history in 'The Bars Are Ours'
In The Bars Are Ours (via Duke University Press), Lucas Hilderbrand, a professor of film and media studies at the University of California-Irvine, takes readers on a historical journey of gay bars, showing how the venues ...

Gay News

Trans women banned from playing cricket
Transgender women have been barred from playing in international women's matches under a new policy from the International Cricket Council (ICC), the BBC reported. Any player who has gone through male puberty will not be eligible ...

Gay News

Chicago Red Stars provide 2023 roster update
--From a press release - CHICAGO (November 20, 2023) — In accordance with the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) end-of-season process, the Chicago Red Stars announce the following roster updates. The club exercised the option ...

Gay News

Photographer Irene Young launches book with stellar concerts
"Something About the Women" was appropriately the closing song for two sold-out, stellar concerts at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage November 19, in celebration of the new book of the same name by Irene Young, the legendary ...

Gay News

Out sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson receives multiple honors
Over the past few weeks, LGBTQ+ sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson has received several honors. The city of Dallas honored LGBTQ+ sprinter Sha'Carri Richardson—twice, according to LGBTQ Nation. Her former high school named the track where she ran ...

Gay News

WORLD Latvia, nonbinary magistrate, Gay Games end, Israel soldiers
Latvia's parliament voted to allow same-sex couples to establish civil unions, Reuters reported. Said couples now have legal recognition—but fewer rights than married couples. The new legislation, slated to take effect in the middle of next ...

Gay News

Karen Leetzow named Chicago Red Stars president
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Nov. 15, 2023) — The Chicago Red Stars have appointed sports executive and attorney Karen Leetzow as the club's new president. Leetzow joins the Red Stars after serving as the chief legal officer of the ...

Gay News

Eye-opening LGBTQ+ women's survey shatters myths and spotlights challenges
The realities, ambitions and hardships of queer women aren't often given deep analysis by researchers. Mainstream socio-political conversations, research data and legislative choices frequently center individuals whose lives are marked ...

Gay News

Megan Rapinoe ends career with injury
Soccer icon Megan Rapinoe ended her legendary career on Nov. 11, as an injury caused her to leave her team's championship loss in the NWSL championship, ESPN reported. Rapinoe's team, the OL Reign, fell to NJ/NY ...

Gay News

Chicago Red Stars' Julia Bianchi called up to Brazilian Women's National Team
--From a press release - CHICAGO (November 10, 2023) — Chicago Red Stars midfielder, Julia Bianchi, will join the Brazilian Women's National Team for their upcoming friendly matches against Japan and Nicaragua in Brazil. This will be Bianchi's second time jo ...

Gay News

WORLD Macron, Senegal incident, drag queen, King's Speech, lesbian artist
French President Emmanuel Macron voiced his support for a bill banning gender-inclusive language on official state documents, according to PinkNews. During the inauguration of the space known as the Cite ...

Gay News

PASSAGES: Activist, former Organized Chaos Chicago president Kathy Guzman
Community activist, former Organized Chaos Chicago (OCC) president and founding member and now-retired queer women-focused L Stop website editor-at-large and writer Kathy Guzman died October 26 of heart complications. She ...

Gay News

Gay Games dealing with backlash, low turnout
Gay Games 11 Hong Kong 2023 (which is also taking place in Guadalajara, Mexico) is taking place, but is contending with some obstacles, including political backlash and low registration numbers, media outlets have reported. According to ...

Gay News

30th anniversary of LGBTQ+ Bud Billiken Parade contingent celebrated
The 30th Anniversary Ad Hoc Committee of Proud Black Lesbians and Gays celebrated the original Ad Hoc Committee of Proud Black Lesbians and Gays and members of the LGBTQIA+ community who in 1993 actively participated as ...

Gay News

Queer athlete named women's rugby player of the year
World Rugby announced that British captain Marlie Packer has been named this year's World Rugby Women's 15s Player of the Year in partnership with Mastercard, according to a media release. Packer received the award in front ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.