A Culverite and hero at 90
The Culver community recented joined local Pearl Harbor survivor and World War II veteran Jim Dewitt (seated) and family in celebrating his 90th birthday.
Dewitt, who with fellow WWII Culver vet Ted Strang will be hailed as this year’s Lake Fest parade marshal, may be best remembered by many locals for his ownership of the Lake Shore Lanes bowling alley on Lake Shore Drive from 1953 to 1978 (photos of the place, and of Dewitt’s early years, were on hand to help celebrate).
Dewitt lost his parents as a young child and spent nine years in an orphanage in Mexico, Indiana, later graduating from Cromwell High School and meeting future wife Mary Alice Banks at age 18.
Following Dewitt’s departure from the Navy after the war, in 1946, he and Mary Alice were married, later purchasing a grocery store in Wawaka, Indiana prior to their purchase of the bowling alley. Many remember with great fondness the tenderloins as well as other treats (the bowling alley burned down shortly after the couple retired in 1978). Mary Alice passed away in 2005.
Last fall, Dewitt’s service to his country was celebrated with an Honor Flight to Washington, DC, accompanied by Jim Jr.