ARLINGTON, Texas – Mary Mohacsi of Livonia, Michigan, a member of the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame, died Nov. 2. She was 85.
Inducted to the hall of fame in 1994 in the Superior Performance category, Mohacsi was active during the early years of women’s pro tours, winning a regional title and a Professional Women Bowler’s Association title. But much of her success was as an amateur bowler in international, state and local competitions.
She represented the United States as a member of Team USA in 1974, 1981, and 1983, competing in the American Zone Championships of the Federation Internationale des Quilleurs (FIQ) events in 1974 in Caracas, Venezuela, and in 1981 in Winnipeg, Canada. She helped the five-woman team set the all-time FIQ scoring mark in taking the gold medal at the 1974 event, and led the team to another gold at the event in Winnipeg while also capturing gold in singles.
Mohacsi had just turned 50 when she went back to Caracas in 1983 for the FIQ World Championships (now World Bowling) and earned bronze in the five-woman team event. Overall, she would claim seven medals – three gold, a silver and three bronze – and set or helped set five international records while bowling for Team USA.
In 1984, she was invited to the first International Amateur Tournament, in which 15 countries were represented, and she claimed the women’s title that was nationally televised on CBS.
Mohacsi was named the United States Olympic Committee’s Bowling Sportswoman of the Year in 1985, and was featured in the USOC magazine, The Olympian.
She joined bowling representatives for a trip to the White House to meet President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush, and served as the group’s spokesperson. She would later say, “The whole thing was really neat. I couldn’t believe it was happening. This happens to other people. I never dreamed it would happen to me.”
She won 11 Michigan State titles and 12 Detroit WBA titles. She was one of the first women in the nation to become a Certified Lane Inspector and also worked as a coach.
Born October 14, 1932, in Detroit, she attended Wayne State University and taught school for 16 years. She would open a pro shop, Right Approach Pro Shop, and add a second shop, the Pocket Pro Shop, soon after.
She is a member of the Michigan Amateur Sports Hall of Fame, the Michigan Bowling Hall of Fame and the Detroit Women’s Bowling Association Hall of Fame.
Mohacsi is survived by her husband, Ted, and daughters Sandi Kumm and Cindy. Her son, Mark, passed away in 2012.
Visitation will be held Nov. 5 from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. at R.C. Aleks & Son Funeral Home, 1324 Southfield Road, Lincoln Park, MI, 48146. Memorial contributions can be made to the Great Dane Rescue, Inc., Michigan Humane Society or the Center for the Education of Women.