Hall of Fame honors: Marquette County bowling association recognizes 4 in 2016

The 2016 class of the Marquette County U.S. Bowling Congress Association hall of fame includes, sitting in front, Betty Lukkarinen, and standing from left, Joleen North, Beverly Petros, representing her late husband Steve Petros, and Mike Musolf, representing his late father, William Musolf. (Journal photo by Steve Brownlee)

Sunday afternoon was a red-letter, or more accurately, a red-plaque day at River Rock Lanes in Ishpeming.

That was when the second annual hall of fame class was inducted by the Marquette County U.S. Bowling Congress Association.

Presiding was association President Pat Gingras, with yours truly reading the inscriptions on the plaques and some other information about the honorees.

Like in 2015, the event took place the Sunday before Christmas and four people, two men and two women, were on the list.

This year two of the inductees were deceased and were represented by family members — Beverly Petros of Engadine for her late husband, Steve Petros, and Mike Musolf of Marquette for his late father, William Musolf.

Steve Brownlee

Also honored were Betty Lukkarinen of Negaunee and Joleen North of Gwinn.

Their plaques were placed on the Hall of Fame wall within the bowling center, joining those of the inaugural inductees — Bertha Cuff of Marquette, Dorothy Heinonen of Republic, Jim Miller of Ishpeming and the late Clarence “Bum” Isaacson of Republic.

Each inductee or family member also received a replica plaque framed in a red background to take home.

Though the idea of the hall of fame was originally Mike Musolf’s idea, Gingras has been given plenty of credit for pushing the idea forward, though he’s also quick himself to credit some others, specifically Glenn Ayotte for doing a good share of research work and Kirk Guckenberg for assembling the actual display.

The inductees all knew each other over the years, though Steve Petros was singled out by the North and Lukkarinen for giving them lessons that sent them on their way to becoming better bowlers.

But these inductees were being honored at least as much for their longevity in the sport and their service to the area bowling community.

Petros was known as working with Miller in getting the Olympic and then Windmill Lanes going in downtown Marquette, along with his teaching, running his own centers and writing this bowling column in The Mining Journal going back 20 and more years.

Musolf was a tireless league bowler, a teacher of the game and also organizer of numerous squads for tournaments both in the area and even off to far-flung states.

Lukkarinen started bowling in the 1940s and has served with local association boards and teaching youngsters the sport, while North has been a secretary-treasurer for a number of years, also serving on the board, and to boot has bowled more than half a dozen of the rare women’s 700 three-game series along with unsanctioned 299 and 298 games.

Like last year, close to a hundred people congregated in the River Rock banquet room to hear about the inductees, then moved out to the bowling lanes to see the unveiling of their plaques.

Everyone then adjourned to the banquet center for hors d’oeuvres and a congratulatory cake, which after some looking around, finally was cut so everyone who wanted could have a piece.

With all the wealth of knowledge in the room, I personally urged those in attendance to rack their brains about future honorees, even asking if they didn’t know any details about someone they thought might be deserving, to just provide a name or names or those who might know.

I’d urge those of you reading this to think along the same terms too, even if you haven’t been involved in the game yourself or haven’t been involved in too many years to remember.

I’m almost certain there’s a wealth of knowledge locked in a lot of people’s memories just waiting to be let out to increase the numbers honored in the hall of fame. And trust me, it won’t hurt.

Steve Brownlee can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.