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Published: Monday, 7/16/2001

Gas station co-owner excelled as an athlete

Mary D. Duricek, a member of traveling women's softball teams in the 1930s and a championship bowler, died Saturday in St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center. She was 81.

Mrs. Duricek was stricken at her Rossford home Saturday evening and was taken to the hospital, where she died from an apparent heart attack, family members said.

She and her husband Charles operated Duricek's Automotive Service on Dixie Highway in Rossford from 1952 until the early 1980s when their son, Chuck, took over the business.

The former Mary Dandar, she grew up in East Toledo's Birmingham neighborhood. One of seven children, she lived on Magyar and Genesee streets. She graduated in 1938 from Waite High School.

As a teenager, Mrs. Duricek played on area softball teams. A left fielder and catcher, she was a member of the Page Dairy team in 1934, the Doehler Die team in 1935, and the Driggs Dairy team in 1936 and 1937.

A talented athlete, she was a standout bowler, compiling a number of 600-point series from the 1940s through the 1980s. As recently as last year, she maintained a 155 average.

She was Toledo Ladies Singles Bowling Champion for 1950-1951. She posted several high single-game scores and high three-game series from 1947 to 1980. She bowled with a number of teams in leagues, primarily at Rossford Lanes on Dixie Highway. Her teams won eight league championships. She was a member of the National 600 Club in 1965 through 1966. She also was selected to the Ohio 600 Club for 1980-1981 and the Toledo 600 Club for 1960-1961.

In 1982, she was inducted into the Birmingham Hall of Fame for her softball and bowling accomplishments.

It was in a bowling alley that she met her husband in 1950. Mr. Duricek said he and some friends were at Rossford Lanes. They challenged a group of women, including Mary, to a bowling competition, spotting them 50 points a game.

“They whomped us,” Mr. Duricek said. “She used to be a pretty good bowler.” They were married April 14, 1951.

Mr. Duricek took over the gas station on Dixie Highway in 1952. He repaired vehicles and pumped gasoline while Mary took care of the bookkeeping.

Mrs. Duricek was a member and past president of the American Legion Women's Auxiliary Post 533. She also assisted at the U.S. Veterans Outpatient Clinic on Glendale Avenue, serving coffee three days a month.

She was among the parishioners at All Saints Catholic Church who prepared dumplings for the chicken paprikas that was served at the church festival in August.

She and her husband helped prepare food served at American Legion Sunday brunches.

Surviving are her husband, Charles; sons, Chuck and Mike; daughter, Mary Jo Moreton and Theresa Duricek; brother, Michael Dandar; sisters, Irene Papp; Helen Butler, and Ann Richter, and six grandchildren.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Wednesday in All Saints Catholic Church. Visitation will be after 6 p.m. tonight in the Sujkowski Funeral Home, 830 Lime City Rd., where a Scripture service will be at 7 p.m. tomorrow.

The family requests tributes to the All Saints Church Vision 2000 Fund or a charity of the donor's choice.



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