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Published: Friday, 12/22/2000

Ex-teacher was founder of 2 drama groups

Elizabeth L. Dean, formerly of Perrysburg and Waterville, a retired English teacher and co-founder of the Waterville Play Shop, died Tuesday in Madeira Health Care Center, Cincinnati. She was 88.

Mrs. Dean died of respiratory failure, her son, Douglas H. Dean, said. She had been a resident of the care center for about two months before her death.

A native of Chicago Heights, Ill., Mrs. Dean graduated from high school in Chicago Heights in 1930. She received a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, Ill., in 1934, and began a career in education.

Mrs. Dean attended graduate classes at Bowling Green State University and at the University of Toledo to maintain a current teaching certificate, but she never completed work on a master's degree, her daughter, Betty Davis, said.

She taught for several years at schools in the Chicago area. Then with her husband, Harry N. Dean, who died in 1982, Mrs. Dean moved to Waterville in 1948. She taught English to fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade pupils at Waterville Primary School until 1960.

After Waterville Primary was absorbed by the Anthony Wayne Local School District, Mrs. Dean taught English to ninth-grade students at Fallen Timbers Junior High School, now a middle school, until 1962.

She then taught English to 10th-grade students at Anthony Wayne High School, and, lastly, she taught English to unwed mothers at the former Toledo Florence Crittenton Home on Collingwood Boulevard, retiring in 1971.

“She loved theater when she was younger, either acting or directing, and she loved to play bridge in her later years,” her daughter said. “Of course, she also loved teaching and was dedicated to her profession.”

Mrs. Dean lived in Waterville from 1948 to 1962, and co-founded the community's drama group. The family moved to Perrysburg in 1962, and Mrs. Dean lived there until 1972, when she and her husband retired to Florida, her daughter said.

“She made a lot of friends when we lived in Waterville because she was involved in drama and was a teacher at the elementary school,” her daughter said. “When we moved to Perrysburg, she made a lot of new friends, but she kept in contact with her friends in Waterville. She was well-liked in both communities.”

Mrs. Dean was recognized as the founder of the Park Players, a community drama group in Leesburg, Fla., and she was a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, the National Education Association, and Grace United Methodist Church, Perrysburg.

Surviving are her son, Douglas H. Dean; daughter, Betty Davis; five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. tomorrow in the Perrysburg Grace United Methodist Church, where the family will receive friends at 1 p.m. Arrangements are being handled by the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg.

The family requests tributes to the church.



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