She treated customers, employees like family
Jean McFadden’s customers knew what holiday was being celebrated when they walked into the Yough Lanes in Connellsville.
“My mother had a theme for every holiday of the year,” said Barry McFadden. “She had a knack for decorating. The lanes were decorated for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter and every other holiday of the year.”
Eleanor “Jean” McFadden of Connellsville, Fayette County, who along with her husband, Loren, owned and operated the Yough Lanes, died of cancer on Friday, July 11, 2003, at home. She was 70.
Barry McFadden said his parents went out of their way to let their customers know how important they were.
“Mom never forgot a customer. And she would never ask a customer why they hadn’t patronized the lanes for a period of time.
“My mother understood that people lose their jobs or are unemployed and don’t have the funds to bowl. She went out of her way to welcome them back and make them feel that they never left.”
Loren McFadden said it was always service with a smile when his wife waited on customers at the snack bar. “Jean made you feel welcome,” he said. “She was the same with our employees, whom she considered our friends, rather than our employees.
“And they felt the same way about Jean. We’ve had employees who had been with us for years, and even if they left, they would stop in to see us.”
Another son, Robert, also recalled how in tune his mother was with modern technology. “She worked along with my father in helping to install computerized scoring.”
Located at 1045 Universal Drive, the McFaddens’ bowling lanes and snack shop were home to 45 leagues and supplied an endless amount of work that would keep the McFadden family hopping about nine months of the year.
“We had seven employees, but there still was a lot of work to be done,” said Loren McFadden. “When Jean wasn’t working the snack bar, you would find her handling the books.”
Born and raised in South Connellsville, Eleanor Ringer was one of six children in the family of Arthur C. and Flora C. Wiltrout Ringer. Her father for years drove a truck.
In 1949, following graduation from Connellsville High School, Miss Ringer met and married Loren McFadden, and for a short time was employed by Anchor Hocking Glass before leaving to raise her sons.
The McFaddens were recognized for their contributions to a number of charities — particularly the Salvation Army. Mrs. McFadden through the years financially supported children living in South America.
Mrs. McFadden is survived by her husband, Loren W. McFadden; sons, Charles Robert McFadden of Connellsville and Barry Lee McFadden of Pennsville; two grandchildren; three brothers, Arthur Ringer of Elizabeth, Albert Ringer of South Connellsville and Charles Ringer of San Antonio, Texas; and a sister, Betty Kay Beasley of Bedford.
She was preceded in death by two sisters, Loretta Strickler and Carrie Ringer.
Visitation is from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today at the Brooks Funeral Home Inc., 111 E. Green St., Connellsville, where services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday with the Rev. Dr. Marvin Watson and the Rev. Charles Neiderhiser officiating.
Interment will follow in Green Ridge Memorial Park, Pennsville.