Decatur Bowling Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Officers
Gabe Howell - President
Diane Doty – Vice President
Al Pote – Secretary
Trinity Bush – Treasurer

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45th Annual Hall of Fame Banquet
October 23, 2021
The Wagon

Master of Ceremonies: Al Pote
Invocation: Ed Hollis

2020/2021 Hall of Fame Inductees


Larry Porter - Superior Performance

- Debuted in Decatur Bowling Leagues in 1984
- Career high game: 300 (7)
- Career High Series: 804 (Nov. 17, 2009)
- Career High Average: 225
- Has served as Assn. Director & Vice-President, League Delegate and Farm Bureau League President

Tournament Championships and highlights:
LARRY is a three-time City Champion, twice in Mixed Team and in the 2015 Men’s Championship. He has bowled over 20 state tournaments, with two top-5 South Division finishes. In the past six seasons, Larry has placed either first or second in seven area sweepers, the most recent a championship in the 1/31/21 Mid-Illinois Bowlers Tour’s Covid Sweeper. Included in this surge was a 299 on the 2019 Springfield 700 Club circuit. Larry has Big-4 and 7-10 conversions on his record.

Locally, Larry earned three Doubles crowns in Big Ern’s Tournament and another twins title in the Farm Bureau Tournament. Porter averaged only 129 in his first season, but in the 21st Century, he has a collective average exceeding 210, and he is showing no signs of slowing down even at age 55. The man known as “Larry Carry” is ready to haul away Decatur’s most prestigious individual bowling honor.


Anthony "Tony" Mahon - Superior Performance

- Debuted in Decatur Bowling Leagues in 1993
- Career High Game: 300 (9 total)
- Career High Series 821 (three sets of 800+)
- Career High Average: 228
- Longtime Youth Coach, also served on BA Board

Tournament Championships and highlights:
TONY was a top youth bowler in the early 1990s, and he quickly translated that to adult leagues, winning two City Doubles titles and appearing on the All-City list. Mahon was a State Doubles runner-up and added two 299 games to his nine 300s.

Tony was always quick to thank his family, especially Hall of Fame grandpa Gene Law, for teaching him the fundamentals of the game. It was a mentoring Tony passed down to his daughter Mackenzie. Together, they captured eight father-daughter championships in the annual Pekin event. Also proving to be a capable adult teammate, Tony won the competitive Springfield Firecracker Tournament three times in a four-year span between 2010 and 2013. Mahon also claimed the podium with a third in the Silver Dollar Classic. Spinning more than 150 series of 700 or better, tonight, Tony Mahon will receive what he has described himself as “the greatest and most meaningful local honor.”


Diana Finley - Veteran

- Debuted in Decatur Bowling Leagues in 1984
- Career High Game: 267
- Career High Series: 602 (2018-19 season)
- Career High Average: 179
- City Tournament Handicap Team Champion 2017-18
- City Tournament Scratch Team Champion 2018-2019

DIANA ended that inaugural 1984-85 league season with a 139 average. Over the next three-and-a-half decades, she entered multiple Decatur leagues and showed steady improvement, rolling her top series near the end of the 2010s. Diana landed spots on prominent league teams.

Diana enjoyed her bowling road trips, making over 10 appearances in the IWBA State Tournament and competing in the 1996 WIBC Nationals. Diana also enjoyed bowling action at home, especially local tournaments where she kept score in many squads and took on other volunteer jobs when Illinois bowlers came to town. Regarding personal awards, Diana earned the 75 pins-over-average emblem on multiple occasions. The Decatur Bowling Hall of Fame congratulates Diana Finley and welcomes her to the family of Decatur bowling’s finest.


Jerry Paradee - Veteran

- Debuted in Decatur Bowling Leagues in 1975
- Career High Game: 300 (5)
- Career High Series: 796
- Career High Average: 225
- City Tournament Handicap Team Champion in 1995
- Member of winning team in 1980’s era Decatur TOC
- IL State South Handicap Team Champion in 1992

There are more bullet points in JERRY’s sharpshooting bowling career, including impressive results at the ABC Tournament and top results in Midwest competitions. Perhaps the most eye-opening were Paradee’s two City Doubles victories, setting scratch scoring records on both occasions. In 1987, Jerry teamed with Ron Woods to shoot 1392, and seven years later, Paradee paired with Paul Higar to roll 1482. His 1995 City Team, sponsored by Custom Trophies, fired a 3574, third best at the time. On the tough Nationals conditions, Paradee fired eight series above 600 with a high of 706 in 2002. Add a state title from 30 seasons ago, plus three Caterpillar championships and an Eldorado tourney win, the Hall of Fame evidence is everywhere.

Jerry pulled prize money from the Petersen and the Hoinke, and he also trekked to Terre Haute to capture tournament wins. He also performed service as Cavalier League President and delegate. Tonight, Jerry Paradee will be rightly served with admission to our bowling shrine.


Ed Vording - Veteran

- Debuted in Decatur Bowling Leagues in 1971
- Career High Game: 300 (2; 2/27/06 and 3/10/06)
- Career High Series: 787
- Career High Average: 219
- Over 100 sets of 700 or higher
- Earned awards for 11-in-a-row, 298, 299 and Triplicate Series
- Served on Men’s Association Board
Ed’s early focus was being a youth coach at Spare Time.

He served as a league secretary for over 25 leagues, and he encouraged his league mates to compete in tournaments. Over a decade, Ed would annually gather 4 to 8 teams for the Cincinnati Hoinke Classic. Perhaps Ed’s biggest legacy was his help in forming leagues when Spare Time Lanes opened. Ed’s diligence created more than ten new leagues, and he was instrumental in starting the Soy City Classic Tournament in 1984.

Ed has one City Championship to his credit, the Scratch All-Events title-winner in 1982, with a 9-game set of 1901. Ed was a stalwart on the former West Central IL circuit, finishing in the top three in season-end rankings three times. In 2006, he was part of a 1453 Doubles Scratch Score at the Central Illinois Tournament. Ed’s career was interrupted on a few occasions, and his salute was dealt a 12-month delay. But perseverance pays off, so today, Ed Vording has his night to celebrate his honor.


Art Fakes - Meritorious Service

- Debuted in Decatur Bowling Leagues in 1974
- Career High Game: 300 (2)
- Career High Series: 770 (30+ career 700 series)
- Career High Average: 205
- Served over 20 years on Men’s Association Board
- Board Vice-President from 2016-2018
- Bowled more than 30 City Championship Tournaments
- Art’s best 4-Game Series was 995

For more than 45 years, ART has been pouring out his love for Decatur Bowling. In addition to the impressive stats above, Art served on at least six Board committees during his two-plus decades, and he volunteered in more than the 30 city tourneys in which he competed. Elsewhere, Fakes is a member of TNBA and the Illinois-Missouri Travel League. In addition to working on the “Men’s” Board, Art was a favorite with the ladies. For Easter Seals or women’s events, Art was often the first man requested by Marlene Coffman for help. Fakes earned nearly every bowling emblem that ABC or USBC produced. He still has a smile that lights up the room, and we congratulate Art Fakes for adding his glow to the Hall of Fame.


Dee Dee Hinton - In Memoriam

- Debuted in Decatur Bowling Leagues in 1967
- Career High Game: 237
- Career High Series: 634
- Career High Average: 175
- Started working Customer Service at Pla-Mor Lanes in 1964, most notably as Day Manager, retiring in 1984
- Earned WIBC awards for All-Spare, 75 & 125 POA
- Bowled in 18 different leagues during her career

The face of a business is often the first person you see when you walk through the door. Those who knew Dee Dee would tell you that this face was always smiling and that she served all bowlers with kindness. Dee Dee seemingly never tired of being in the building, working by day and playing by night. She accumulated dozens of league awards in the 1970s. Most of those prizes were the season’s high game or series, and Dee Dee capped her career with a 125 POA series prize in the 1999-2000 season. Dee Dee was the ultimate service worker. Hinton passed away on November 23, 2019.


Polly Burger - In Memoriam

- Debuted in Decatur Bowling Leagues in 1977
- Career High Game: 244
- Career High Average: 164
- Served as Youth Coach for many years
- Served as League Secretary for many years
- Bowled in eight leagues during the 1980-81 season
- Participated in leagues at Eldorado, Pershing, Pla-Mor and Spare Time Lanes

POLLY had a modest start to her bowling career, averaging 125 and 131 in her first two leagues. But as shown above, Burger became a fixture at all Decatur bowling centers and in a dozen different leagues. Her 1980-81 octagon included Scratch Mixed Doubles, Queen Pins, Slowpoke, Weekenders, Pla-Mor Girls, Afternoon Delights, Newcomers and Lucky Strikers Leagues. Polly’s loved ones embraced the game, and several outstanding bowlers are on the family tree. With all those leagues came many awards; League High Game, pins-over-average-game and POA series. Away from Decatur, Burger entered the Hoinke Classic and The National Mixed Championships. Polly was taken from our path in January 2011, but the memories of her dedication to the game and tutelage of our young players will never be forgotten.

Download the 2021 Hall of Fame Program

HOF Induction Ceremony on Oct. 23, 2021 at The Wagon

APPLICANTS NEEDED!! Download the Decatur Bowling Hall of Fame Application

Submit by June 30th with HOF Endorsement

A Tribute To Greatness

Marlene Coffman
Inducted 1988

Vivian VanderBurgh
Inducted 1999

Mary Holliday
Inducted 2018

Linda Fyke
Inducted 2005

Bill Miller
Inducted 1990

Rick Yetter
Inducted 2005

Wayne Hornbeck
Inducted 1994

Maureen Wilcox
Inducted 2007