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GRAND RAPIDS -- Legendary bowler Marion Ladewig, widely considered the greatest female bowler of all time, died this morning. She was 95.
Ladewig, a Grand Rapids native, was voted Bowler of the Year nine times from 1950-63 by the Bowling Writers Association of America. She retired in 1964.
She became even more widely known to local television audiences when she teamed up with the late Warren Reynolds on the WOTV Bowling Classic. The half-hour show, featuring amateur bowlers at local lanes, ran for 17 years.
In 1984, Ladewig was inducted into the Women's Sports Hall of Fame in New York City, and is also a member of the National Bowling Hall of Fame in St. Louis, as well as the Michigan and Grand Rapids halls of fame.
She also was the only woman to ever win city, state and national all-events titles in the same year (1951).
She learned to bowl at the old Fanatorium bowling alley on Jefferson Avenue SE, and considered it home. An outstanding softball player, Ladewig was working at duties including pin-setting when one of "The Fan's" founders, William Morrissey Sr., decided to train her as a bowler.
"We worked hard at it," she said in 2000, shortly before "The Fan" was closed to make room for office space. "I bowled three nights a week in leagues, but I practiced everyday. He saw to that."
She later became part owner of Northfield Lanes.
Arrangements at O'Brien-Eggebeen-Gerst funeral home are pending.
Registered: 1211945430 Posts: 717
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Wow, that is crazy as I was just looking through some old bowling magazines today and came upon a couple stories about her.
A great bowler for sure.