Every week, friends and family can find Don Wolfe at the Georgetown Entertainment bowling alley in Fort Wayne, Indiana — despite the 98-year-old veteran being legally blind.
Wolfe is part of the local Club 50 bowlers group for senior citizens, who get together every Wednesday for an evening at the alley. His fellow teammates help Wolfe visualize where to roll the ball.
“I need my partner to help me know what I got down there,” Wolfe told CBS affiliate WANE, explaining how he manages to knock down the pins at the end of the lane despite his vision impairment.
“I have macular degeneration,” he added, discussing an eye disease that causes vision loss. “That’s why they have to tell me which pins are left because I can’t see them.”
Wolfe developed a love for bowling shortly after joining the Army Air Corps in 1939 and serving during World War II, according to WANE.
“So I got this job setting pins, and I said, ‘Heck, that looks like fun, so I’ll bowl,’ ” he told the outlet.
The avid bowler served with the Air Corps until 1947.
“Then I got out as a captain,” he recalled. “Then I got out, came to Fort Wayne, went to Indiana Tech, got a degree in aeronautical engineering.”
Wolfe went on to teach aeronautics at Indiana University before he retired in 1964 as a Lieutenant Colonel, all the while continuing his passion for bowling.
“I love it,” Wolfe told WANE. “I used to be pretty good. I carried a 190 average, that’s the best I ever did.”
Now he has a bowling average of 140. His daughter, Susan Holmes — who drives him to the bowling alley every week — is impressed by her father’s determination.
“He’s doing it all from memory to help him decide which way he wants to throw it. It’s pretty amazing,” Holmes said. “All these guys say, ‘Hey, he’s 98 and can’t see, but look at him bowl.’ I think it’s miraculous.”
“I wouldn’t stop bringing him for the world,” she added. “He needs this. He’s pretty inspirational.”
According to WANE, Wolfe and his teammates encourage anyone who enjoys bowling and is over the age of 50 to come out and join them at Club 50. More information on the group can be found through Georgetown Entertainment.