Legendary Middletown bowler, bowling alley operator dies after car crash

One of Middletown’s most accomplished bowlers, who also operated his family’s bowling alley and a trophy business, has died.

Steve Davidson died Thursday at Kettering Medical Center, 10 days after he was involved in a car crash in Middletown, said his sister, Susan Childers. He was 68.

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She said her brother ran a red light at the corner of Grand Avenue and Marshall Road on Oct. 7 and was treated for his injuries at Middletown Kettering Medical Center. He suffered an aneurysm and never recovered, his sister said.

One of Davidson’s best friends, Nelson Hurte, 68, said he was “totally shocked” when he heard about Davidson’s death.

“He was so young and it’s amazing that he is gone,” Hurte said. “It shocked me.”

Davidson and Hurte met while competing in junior bowling leagues in Middletown, bowled together as adults and attended 30 to 40 national bowling tournaments. Hurte said because Davidson’s family owned a bowling alley, he “practiced, practiced, practiced.”

He said Davidson threw “countless” 300 games and 800 series.

“He was the best to ever come out of Middletown,” Hurte said. “He was at the top of the game.”

Hurte said a bowling tournament will be held this weekend at Strike Zone in Franklin, and many bowlers are dedicating the tournament to Davidson.

“He will be missed,” Hurte said. “He had such a dry sense of humor. He was definitely something.”

Davidson’s father, Richard “Davey” Davidson, operated Sports Bowl from 1971 until his death on Dec. 1, 2010. The bowling alley closed in 2011 and was sold in 2014.

After his father’s death, Davidson moved his trophy business next to Stefano’s Italian Cafe on Central Avenue. Then he sold the business that is operated inside Eastern Lanes.

Davidson was preceded in death by his parents, Davey and Eloise Davidson, and his wife, Judith.

His visitation will be from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at Wilson-Schramm-Spaulding Funeral Home, 3805 Roosevelt Blvd., followed by his memorial service at 2 p.m. His ashes and his wife’s ashes will be spread at Woodside Cemetery, his sister said.

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