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Published: Thursday, 12/28/2000

Magazine carried retiree's columns

Edmund Raizk, 88, a tackle on a city championship high school football team and a factory machinist who in retirement gained recognition for his column in a local history magazine, died yesterday in St. Luke's Hospital from complications of congestive heart failure.

Mr. Raizk of Perrysburg Township had been in poor health and lived the last three months in The Manor at Perrysburg, his daughter, Christine Alexander, said.

To readers of the magazine, Bend of the River, founded by daughters Mrs. Alexander and Lee Raizk, he was “Dad” of the “Notes from Dad” monthly column, in which he reminisced about growing up in North Toledo.

“He would always tell us stories,” Mrs. Alexander said. “He remembered everything: He could tell you the smell when you walked down Summit and Cherry and [about] this blacksmith. ...

“He would write his memories of old Toledo and his mother baking bread - the little, simple things that are long gone. They were just so charming and sweet.”

Sometimes his columns would get greater reader response than other articles, Mrs. Alexander said.

“He thought he was a celebrity,” she said.

His last column appeared in the November issue.

His parents were Lebanese immigrants, and he was born in Laurens, S.C. He was a child when he moved with his family to Walnut Street in North Toledo. He was a tackle on the Waite High School football team and played on the 1931 and 1932 city championship football teams. He and his brother, the late William - who later was on the Chicago Bears team - played two years together, and he spoke often of his sports experience.

“It was a big part of his life,” Mrs. Alexander said. “It was the Depression years. It was hard times. A lot of people didn't stay in high school.”

He often attributed his tenacity to his football training.

“He talked about the lessons he learned as a football player. He was a fighter until the end. He just wouldn't give up,” Mrs. Alexander said.

He was employed on Works Progress Administration projects after graduation and worked on building the Anthony Wayne Trail and the Toledo Zoo.

He took a job with the former Electric Auto-Lite Co., where he became a precision machinist. He saw the violence of the 1934 strike, in which two picketers were fatally shot and many injured during a battle between strikers and the National Guard.

“He would say, `You don't know what it was like without the union. They would fire you for anything,'” Mrs. Alexander said.

When the Auto-Lite plant closed in 1962, he was transferred to the Prestolite plant in Bay City, Mich., where he worked until retiring in 1972. He and his wife returned to northwest Ohio, and he had a small apple orchard on an acre he owned in Perrysburg Township.

Mr. Raizk and his wife, Veronica, married in September, 1938. She died in March, 1996.

Surviving are his daughters, Rosalie Ann Raizk, Melanie Hadeed, and Christine Alexander; sister, Geneva Raizk; three grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.

The body will be in the Witzler-Shank Mortuary, Perrysburg, after 2 p.m. tomorrow, with Scripture services at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Rose Church, Perrysburg.



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