Kenneth “Pops” Van Liere has been an active member of the APA Heart of VA since May 2014. He plays on the same team with his son, Kent, who recruited him to join APA. Pops first interacted with pool when he was just 14 years old in Marietta, Ohio. He worked in a pool room racking balls. In April 2022, he celebrated his 95th birthday.
“Before I became the League Operator for this area, Pops played on my team for three years,” Rob Marshall said. “It was a pleasure having him on my team. He is very competitive. He does not like to lose but does so with good sportsmanship.”
Everyone loves Pops. Many players will go out of their way to greet him on League night, which he rarely misses. Before COVID, the only significant time he missed was due to a partial hip replacement in 2018.
His retirement community has a pool table, however, no one there wants to play him anymore because he always wins. He’s always up for a challenge!
You will rarely see Pops without his WWII Veteran hat. Pops joined the Navy at 17 years old and served for almost two years. He was a Seabee stationed in Okinawa. Every Friday, he attends a veteran’s rally at the Monument Terrace memorial. The veterans meet there to honor service members on active duty.
Pops was married for almost 70 years before his wife passed away in 2016. He has four children, seven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren.
Pops surpassed 500 Lifetime Matches played in the Summer of 2022. We look forward to celebrating many more!