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Bowling is right up the alley for 94-year-old Utah woman

Posted at 9:59 PM, Nov 22, 2022

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — The bowling alley is a great place to have fun, relax and blow off steam, but for one Utahn, it's also the secret to youth.

Despite her age, 94-year-old bowler June Jackman continues to get strikes and spares every single week

The parking lot is a little busier on Tuesday nights in Valley Lanes in Taylorsville as Utah’s oldest bowling league meets to knock down some pins. However, Jackman is the queen pin of them all as the sport is right up her alley.

"I've had a good life, but I love the ball and I have done so ever since I was about eight years old," said Jackman.

Jackman's sons say their mom loves the sport and it loves her right back.

"She's a strong lady and to have her come out here and do this every week, I think that's what keeps her going," said Doug Jackman.

As the player that frequently is the star of her team, June plays coy about her exact age.

"Well, I told them I'm 90-something, I forgot. You’ll have to ask someone," jokes June.

Jackman's bowling jones started way back with her first-ever job.

"I think I was about 10, and set the pins; they didn't have an automatic pin setter," she remembers. "That's how we earned our money, and then would have to pick up those heavy pins, you know, and put them in them wherever they belong."

Back when Jackman first started, there were barriers she needed to break through.

"At first, only the men could bowl, and then they decided us kids could use the alley when the men weren’t using it, so that’s what we did," Jackman said.

Very quickly, the bowling practice turned into a love for June.

"There would be tournaments that I would get into," she shared. "I never really won much. But it was just bowling, bowling turned my into my whole favorite."

Bowling turned into a family affair when June brought her first-born, Steve, to the lanes so she could continue her passion, a tradition that lived on with all her children and even further on the family tree.

"I'm probably the worst bowler on the team," said June's granddaughter, Alyson Johansen.

"I'm glad they like it because it's something that I always liked and I like to have them like something I like," said June.

Now, following in June's footsteps, several and her grandchildren have several teams of their own that compete each and every Tuesday.

"This is pretty much once in a lifetime, I think," said Brad. "Especially with my mom, it's awesome, love it." 

"Life is special and you never know what's going to happen, so being able to share this experience is awesome," shared ALyson.

Even the league president gets in on the fun of having June around. He's no slouch, and is quick with a response for a question he's often asked.

"I don't want to talk about that," answers Brent Michaelson when asked how often June beats him.

As far her favorite part of the game that has given her so much joy throughout the years, June has a simple answer: getting a strike. Something she hopes to keep doing for a few more years.

"I made it this far I might as well make it a little bit longer, maybe," June said. "I like to see something that I can accomplish. I used to be better, but let's say it's growing old.

"Growing old gracefully. I'm trying."