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About Us

Southlane's Story

Southlane Bowling Center is a fun and family-friendly bowling alley located in Union City, Tennessee. Built in 1986 by Bill and Thelma Fussell, it started out with twelve lanes but has since expanded to include sixteen lanes, a snack bar, pool tables, and arcade games. Bill and Thelma always wanted to focus on having an environment in which families could have fun and feel comfortable, and that original mission is what drives Southlane today.

Not only does Southlane still stick to its focus on families, it is still family-run. Thelma can be spotted at Southlane frequently, participating in league bowling. Her two children, Mike and LaDonna, operate the bowling alley along with a few staff members.

The Fussell Family

Bill, Thelma, Mike, and LaDonna Fussell at Southlane opening
photo taken 1986

Bill & Thelma Fussell

The founders of Southlane Bowling Center. Bill and Thelma lived in Union City or the surrounding area for most of their lives. They were married for 48 years and had two children. They also owned Corner Bar-B-Q on East Reelfoot for 40 years until retiring from the restaurant business in August 2012. Bill passed away in January of 2013, but Thelma still lives in Union City with her dog Booger and bowls often.

LaDonna Tomlinson (Fussell)

LaDonna is the older of Bill and Thelma’s two children. She is married to David Owen Tomlinson and lives in the Union City area. She and David Owen have two children, Kandace Cheney(Tomlinson) and Elliott Tomlinson. LaDonna has been both a bookkeeper and in sales for over thirty years, and she can often be seen working in the office at Southlane.

Mike Fussell

Mike is the second child of Bill and Thelma Fussell. He is married to Tracy Fussell and lives in Obion County. Mike has three daughters; Amberly Worrell (Fussell), Megan Garwood (Tucker), and Chassidy Fussell. Mike is a Union City firefighter/EMT and also went to AMF school to learn about operating and maintaining the bowling machines. He is a jack-of-all-trades and can be seen doing many different things around Southlane on a regular basis.

In Memory of Bill

Bill leaning on the snack bar counter at Southlane

Bill Fussell
1941 - 2013