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Published: Monday, 3/1/2004

Bowling alley owner was a POW in Japan

FOSTORIA - John Clifford “Jack” Dunn, 82, a World War II veteran who was held by the Japanese as a prisoner of war and who for many years operated Dunn s Lanes in Fostoria, died Wednesday at his residence in Palm Harbor, Fla.

Mr. Dunn, who began spending part of the year in Florida since his retirement in 1985, died of congestive heart failure, his son, Brad Dunn, said.

“Everybody knew him and he was very well-liked,” the younger Mr. Dunn said. “He ran a really modern and clean bowling alley.”

Mr. Dunn was born in the Curtice area and graduated from Genoa High School. He left college to enlist in the Navy after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Before leaving for service, Mr. Dunn married the former Doris Buss on June 21, 1943.

He was captured Aug. 15 - Victory over Japan Day - after a plane he was piloting was shot down during a bombing mission and crashed into a lake 35 miles from Tokyo. Mr. Dunn was held in a prisoner of war camp for 16 days after the war ended.

“I got the usual beating,” Mr. Dunn told The Blade in November, 1945. “They took my shoes and jewelry and attempted to force information from me.”

Mr. Dunn was awarded eight air medals, four Distinguished Flying Crosses, and the Navy Cross for his service, his son said. “He came back to TU and finished out a business degree, then moved to Fostoria where he started a bowling alley,” the younger Mr. Dunn said.

In 1949, he opened the New Center Recreation in Fostoria. About six years later, he closed that business and opened Dunn s Lanes, which still operates 12 lanes under the same name.

Family members say the establishment is well-known by many people in Fostoria.

“It s just amazing to see all the families there and little children who get down and roll the ball down the lanes,” said Mr. Dunn s daughter, Beverly Fisher. “It s a legacy.”

Mr. Dunn s wife died Sept. 19, 2000. He was remarried last year to Rose Rothswell.

He was a member of the Fostoria Country Club, Fostoria Shrine Club, Elks Lodge, Loyal Order of Moose, Eagles Aerie 430, and VFW Post 421, all in Fostoria.

Surviving are his wife, Rose Rothswell; son, Brad; daughter, Beverly Fisher; four stepdaughters; five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. today in the Mann-Hare Funeral Home in Fostoria.

The family suggests tributes to the Greater Fostoria Community Foundation.



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