Fort Wayne, Ind. (WANE) – Family and friends call him inspirational. Don Wolfe is a World War Two veteran who still bowls a pretty good game for someone who’s 98 years old and legally blind. Every Wednesday he joins his fellow Club 50 bowlers at Georgetown Entertainment for a little action on the lanes.
“I need my partner to help me know what I got down there,” said Wolfe referring to the pins at the end of the lane. He relies on his teammates to help him mentally spot the pins because he’s legally blind. “I have macular degeneration, that’s why they have to tell me which pins are left because I can’t see them,” said Wolfe.
Wolfe is no stranger around the pins. He started bowling soon after he joined the Army Air Corps. “So I got this job setting pins and I said heck that looks like fun so I”ll bowl.”
Of course that’s not all Wolfe did in the Army. He loved to fly. In fact, he flew B-26 Bombers in World War Two. “I joined in 1939, served until 1947 then I got out as a captain,” recalls Wolfe. “Then I got out, came to Fort Wayne, went to Indiana Tech, got a degree in aeronautical engineering and then went back in to Korea during the Korean conflict. It’s a long story, I think I better get back to bowling,” laughed Wolfe.
Wolfe never actually fought in Korea. Instead he taught aeronautics at Indiana University and in 1964 retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Through it all he found time to raise a family and later win a few bowling titles.
His daughter, Susan Holmes, drives him to the bowling alley every week, usually with a grandchild in tow. She marvels at her dad’s ability to still play the game he loves. “He’s doing it all from memory to help him decide which way he wants to throw it. It’s pretty amazing,” said Holmes. “All these guys say, hey he’s 98 and can’t see but look at him bowl. I think it’s miraculous.”
“I love it,” said Wolfe. “I used to be pretty good. I carried a 190 average, that’s the best I ever did.” These days Wolf averages about 140 as he shares the lanes with fellow senior citizens and veterans. His daughter said he sees beyond his handicap.
“I wouldn’t stop bringing him for the world. He needs this. He’s pretty inspirational.” said Holmes.
Wolfe and his fellow bowlers invite bowlers age 50 and up to join Club 50. Contact Georgetown Entertainment at 260-749-9610 for more information.