Bowling world mourns loss of lane maintenance pioneer John Davis


    United States

    Members of the bowling community pay their respects to the industry icon, visionary, historian and one of the game's greatest sponsors



    20130125KegelCEOJohnDavis.jpg With the news of Kegel founder and CEO John Davis' death spreading quickly through the bowling community, people all across the sport shared memories of the legendary lane maintenance guru and offered their condolences.

    John Davis, the founder of the Kegel Company, was an industry icon, a visionary and pioneer in the creation of bowling products and services that promote fair competition on a consistent playing field. He passed away on Friday morning January 25. He was 64.

    By Monday afternoon, bowling leaders have joined the Kegel family in mourning, through a combination of social media and official statements.

    José Guandique, President of the Pan American Bowling Confederation (PABCON):
    "We are very saddened by the news of the death of our dear friend and sponsor John Davis. This is very moment for us. That's why the PABCON Executive Committee has taken the following action:

    "The committee has agreed to declare "three days of mourning in Bowling of the Américas" in memory of our special friend and sponsor John Davis.

    "We will always carry him in our hearts. "

    Addie Ophelders, President of the European Tenpin Bowling Federation (ETBF):
    "John was a great and wonderful man, with his heart at the right place. He loved the game of bowling and he dedicated his life to improve the sport of bowling.

    "John has contributed to the sport of bowling sport in a tremendous way, not only by increasing the quality of our championships, but certainly also to the creation of a strong European Bowling Tour, where his great staff has been offering lane maintenance services and professional guidance to many tour stop organizers over a decade.

    "Thank you dear friend for your friendship, camaraderie and support!"

    2013JohnDavisCelebrationofLife.jpg John Davis also was passionate about bowling's history and was proud to serve as a trustee on the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame board.

    Therefore, the family and the Kegel Company request that in lieu of flowers donations may be made to the John Davis Historical Preservation Memorial - a newly created fund benefiting the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame.

    One-hundred percent of the proceeds will be applied to the preservation, organization and research of historical bowling documents and artifacts. Please send donations to the IBM/HF, 621 Six Flags Drive, Arlington, TX 76011, or use the "donation button" at Note: The donation should be applied to the memorial fund.

    A "John Davis Celebration of Life" will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2013 at 3 p.m. EST at the famous Kegel Training Center (1951 Longleaf Blvd. Lake Wales, FL 33859). If you're planning to attend, please RSVP to Marcella Sowards at or call 863.734.0200.


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