Former BPAA President and Hall of Famer Harry Wells dead at 85

    03/22/14

    BPAA News

    20140318BPAAHarryWells.jpg BPAA Hall of Fame member, and former president, Harry M. Wells passed away Tuesday, March 18 in Ohio. He was 85.

    Wells was born in the Bucyrus, Ohio area where he lived all his life. He formed an insurance business in 1949 before starting and operating Suburban and Gala Lanes from 1963-1991.

    He was president of the Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA) from 1982-84 during which time BPAA celebrated its 50th anniversary. As president, he oversaw the creation of a long range planning committee that had four major objectives: leadership, marketing, image and financial programs.

    Forty-eight programs were consolidated into seven major program categories: marketing, insurance, retention, communication, education, sense of common purpose of all entities and organization at the national, state and local levels.

    In 1982, BPAA membership topped 4,006 centers with 86,089 lanes. The goal of 90,000 lanes in 1983 was surpassed by the end of November.

    Wells also participated in the ribbon-cutting for the National Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Louis in 1984, and at that year's convention he unveiled BPAA's long range plan calling for proprietors to invest in the future and to replace apathy and complacency with enthusiasm and effort.

    In 1993, Wells was honored with the Victor Lerner Memorial Medal and induction into the BPAA Hall of Fame.

    Wells is survived by his wife, Nancy, twin sister May Laipply, three children, Dennis (Julie), Debra (Stephen) Hoover and Diane (Timothy) Kaple and one step-daughter, Terri (Graham) Riley, eight grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by a son, David and three brothers, Robert, George and Ronald.

    Visitation is Friday, March 21, 2014 at Wise Funeral Service in Bucyrus, Ohio with a service on Saturday, March 22. A private interment at the columbarium at Oakwood Cemetery is scheduled for a later date.

    To read the entire obituary, click here.