Retired bowling center operator Bill Strike, who had suffered from the complications of Alzheimer’s in recent years, died on May 12. He was 81. 

Strike, the father of pro bowler Dale Strike, managed several centers over the course of his career, and was best known for hosting big events, including PBA Tour stops.

He was managing Bowl One in Troy, Mich., in 1995 when the U.S. Open was held there and then moved to Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena for the “Pro Bowlers Tour” finals on ABC-TV. What became known as “The Show at The Joe” (won by future Hall of Famer Dave Husted, who operates centers in Oregon and Washington) had 7,412 fans on hand, an attendance record that still stands to this day.

At the local center level, Strike took pride in getting to know his customers and solving problems.

At one point, he took his love for bowling behind the mic, hosting a radio program at Sportstalk 1440 AM.

“He was everything to me — my mentor, my father, my best friend,” Dale Strike told Michigan Live. “He taught me just about everything I know. I’m going to miss him.”

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