Saturday, Apr 21, 2018
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Varsity Lanes co-owner was hall of fame bowler

Dean Moosman, 72, a hall of fame bowler known for amassing individual records and team titles who for 27 years was a co-owner of Varsity Lanes in Bowling Green, died Friday in St. Luke's Hospital from complications of a stroke suffered about a month ago.

He bowled earlier this year in the American Bowling Congress Tournament - his 39th consecutive - in Baton Rouge, La.

"He was probably the best bowler in the state for five, six years" in the 1970s, said Darrell Ducat, owner of Imperial Lanes and a longtime friend who was a competitive bowler himself. The two traveled together to Professional Bowlers Association events around the state, and Mr. Moosman was known for his endurance.

"Moose could keep bowling all night," Mr. Ducat said. "He won five state championships, and that was a tough deal.

"It was his concentration. And he never gave up," Mr. Ducat said. "He could be down, but he would always make the finals. That's what it really takes: You have to remember when you hit that lane what it took before to score."

When Mr. Moosman was inducted into the Toledo Bowling Association Hall of Fame in 1978, former Blade sports writer Hal Shanahan wrote that he was "truly one of the game's outstanding stylists in Toledo, northwest Ohio, and in the state as well."

Mr. Moosman, his then-wife, Arlene, and Mr. Ducat bought Varsity Lanes in Bowling Green in 1977. The Moosmans bought out Mr. Ducat's interest in 1984 and owned the business until late last year.

"He loved the work. He loved the preventive maintenance part of it," said Ms. Moosman, still a friend and business partner. "He was a stickler about that."

He'd long thought about owning a bowling venue, his daughter, Dana Andrews, said. When the chance came, he left his job as timekeeper at Libbey-Owens-Ford Co.

"He could not only bowl [by owning Varsity Lanes], he could mentor younger bowlers," his daughter said. "He did that as he was bowling anyway. He could control his own tournaments, his own leagues."

Mr. Moosman, a longtime Perrysburg resident and, most recently, of Portage, Ohio, was inducted into the Ohio State Bowling Hall of Fame and the Bowling Green Hall of Fame in 1992.

He began to bowl in 1949. For his first 16 years in the Toledo Times and, later The Blade Traveling Classic, he averaged over 200 during an era when such high averages were uncommon.

He led the Reeb Funeral Home team to success as its captain for many years. That was a role he preferred, though he set records and won many individual tournaments.

"He was very proud of his bowling accomplishments, but he rarely talked about himself. It was about his team," his daughter said. "Many of the bowlers in Toledo owe their success to my dad's tutoring."

Mr. Moosman was a graduate of Perrysburg High School, where he was a guard on the basketball team and a pitcher on the baseball team. He was in the Army just as the Korean War ended and served in Japan, Ms. Moosman said.

Mr. Moosman enjoyed golfing and was a woodworker. He was a fan of Bowling Green State University sports. He and cross-town competitor Bill Wammes, owner of Al-Mar Lanes in Bowling Green, often traveled to out-of-town BGSU basketball and football games together.

Surviving are his son, Jamison Moosman; daughter, Dana Andrews, and a grandson.

There will be no services. The family will greet friends from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Mortuary, Maumee.

The family suggests tributes to the Toledo-Northwestern Ohio Food Bank or the Wood County Humane Society.

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