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Published: Saturday, 4/7/2001

Volunteer comforted families of patients

Jean E. McArdle, who comforted families and patients as a Toledo Hospital volunteer and who led Bible classes in her home, died Monday in Medical College of Ohio Hospitals. She was 83.

Mrs. McArdle, of Perrysburg Township, was diagnosed with cancer about five weeks ago, her son Peter said.

She was a volunteer for 16 years in the Toledo Hospital surgical waiting room.

"That was one activity she received the most gratification from - helping families going through troubled times," her son Tom said. "To my mother, nobody in the world had a fault. "

Mrs. McArdle was a member of the Episcopal Church from childhood, and she led Bible classes in her home for many years in an effort "to understand and to try to make it relevant to her daily life," son Peter, a judge of the 6th District Court of Appeals, said. "She read passages from the Bible daily, which was of great comfort to her."

Formerly of Corey Road, she had been a lay reader at St. Michael's in the Hills Episcopal Church.

She grew up in Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., and spent childhood summers at her family's Mackinac Island home. She graduated from a private boarding school in the Washington area and from the National College of Education, Evanston, Ill. She and her first husband, Bently T. Handwork, moved to Toledo, where he became president of Canteen Service Co.

Mrs. McArdle was a former president of the Ottawa Hills Garden Club. She was a supporter of Planned Parenthood and was elected to office with the local chapter, although she declined the position. She was a sustaining member of the Junior League of Greater Toledo.

Most important, though, was her family.

"We all have extended families - stepchildren and step-grandchildren. She embraced everyone with unconditioned love and no questions asked," son Peter said.

Her marriage to Mr. Handwork ended in divorce. She married Allan McArdle on Dec. 18, 1992.

He died Jan. 31, 2000.

Surviving are her sons, Peter, B. Thomas, Jr., Christopher, and Jonathon; stepson, Joseph McArdle; stepdaughter, Christine McGuire; sisters, Gretchen Wolf, Gloria McCormick-Goodhart, Lorone Porter; 13 grandchildren; eight step-grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

There will be no visitation. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. today in St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, Perrysburg, where she was a member. Arrangements are by the Witzler-Shank Mortuary, Perrysburg.

The family requests tributes to the church; to the Mayo Clinic for amyloidosis research, or to a charity of the donor's choice.

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