The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 8, 2013

Jefferson bowling alley owner killed in freak lawn accident

JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP — Helping others and enjoying his customers at Jefferson Lanes comprised Frank Miklacic’s passion, supporting girls’ softball and giving out bowling scholarships.

The 68-year-old was known for his generosity and gregarious nature.

“He just did all nice things,” his wife, Joan, said. “One year he bought 77 boxes of Girl Scout cookies! He just couldn’t say, ‘no.’”

Miklacic died Friday afternoon after something went terribly wrong while mowing his lawn with a zero-turn mower.

“He was on his tractor, finishing the last of it,” Joan Miklacic said. “Our son, Greg, pulled in at 2:30 p.m. and waved at his dad.”

As Greg stepped into the house, he heard a noise, turned around and saw the riding mower on top of his father. He ran to help and Joan called 911.

“We don’t know if he hit tree roots or a branch knocked him off,” she said.

Miklacic suffered a serious injury to his leg and a medical helicopter was called to fly him to MetroHealth in Cleveland.

“The helicopter landed in the (bowling alley) parking lot,” Joan said.

Miklacic died in flight to Cleveland.

As of Tuesday, the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office has not ruled on a cause of death, said Paul Caesar, spokesman.

Miklacic and his wife were married 44 years.

“It’s very tragic,” Joan Miklacic said. “He had a little failing health, but it was manageable.”

The family has been overwhelmed by the community’s love and support since the accident. They bought Jefferson Lanes on Route 46 in 1978, and have met so many “wonderful people,” she said. “He was well-known to the Jefferson community and loved by all.”

Fleming Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. Calling hours will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Fleming’s 49 W. Jefferson St., Jefferson, and a Mass of Christian burial at 10 a.m. Friday St. Joseph’s Calasanctius Parish, 32 E. Jefferson St. Interment All Souls Cemetery.

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