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Published: Wednesday, 3/21/2001

Volunteer enjoyed traveling

Nancy Baird Rudolph, 67, former director of volunteer services at Flower Hospital who was a volunteer for a quarter-century at the Toledo Museum of Art, died yesterday in the Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township.

Mrs. Rudolph, of Ottawa Hills, had leukemia the last two years but continued to volunteer. Indeed, she had planned to be a docent for the museum exhibition “Eternal Egypt,” and, to prepare, she attended classes and did research, her daughter, Karin Rudolph, said.

Mrs. Rudolph was director of volunteer services at Flower for 13 years, retiring in April, 1997.

Her work extended to other parts of the Flower complex, including Lake Park, Crestview Club Apartments, and the Goerlich Center for Alzheimer's Care, and encompassed 400 volunteers in 50 departments, Pat Lutman, her secretary, said.

“She could relate to just about anyone and related on their level, whether they had money or they didn't,” said Mrs. Lutman, now coordinator of Flower's volunteer services.

Mrs. Rudolph's daughter said: “She really enjoyed being able to bring people from the community into a place where they could find a way to use their talents and skills.”

The daughter of Dr. Warren and Helen Baird, Mrs. Rudolph grew up on Parkside Boulevard and was a graduate of Maumee Valley Country Day School.

She was a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and taught immediately after at Ottawa Hills Elementary School.

She and H. Alan Rudolph married in June, 1956, and lived in Washington for three years because he was in the Navy. The family moved to Grand Rapids, Mich., and Boston because of his job with Owens Corning, of which he later was a vice president, but “they always came back to Toledo,” their daughter said.

Mrs. Rudolph was a former co-director of the Hope Lutheran Church Nursery. Her longtime appreciation for art, fostered by Saturday classes in childhood at the Toledo Museum of Art, inspired her to volunteer for the museum.

She visited China and Egypt during her world travels and returned often to western Europe. When her husband's work took him to England or Germany, she and the children would go too.

She would do research and lead her family on tours “through these little towns, telling us stories about [these places] and artwork that was spectacular to see,” her daughter said. “She could share her joy about what she really loved with the people who were closest to her.”

Mrs. Rudolph was a member of St. Michael's in the Hills Episcopal Church and had been chairwoman of the church's Memorial Garden committee.

Surviving are her husband, H. Alan; sons, Eric and Kirk; daughter, Karin Rudolph; brothers, Jay and Jeff Baird, and five grandchildren.

There will be no visitation. Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday in St. Michael's in the Hills Episcopal Church. Arrangements are by the J. Jeffrey Fretti Mortuary. The family requests tributes to the Memorial Garden of the church.



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