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Published: 4/27/2001

Tax official admired for her loyalty

Thelma Ward, a retired supervisor of tax assessments for the city of Oregon and an award-winning quilter, died Tuesday in her Oregon home. She was 74.

Mrs. Ward died of cancer, her son, Arthur Sradeja, said.

A 1944 graduate of Waite High School, she was a bookkeeper at the family's business, Hosko Fishery, on Water Street adjacent to the former Cherry Street Bridge.

When the firm closed in 1970, she went to work for the city of Oregon, retiring in 1987.

“She was a very loyal employee,” Oregon Mayor James Haley said. “She had the job of assessing taxes before we started using computers. Everything had to be done on spreadsheets, so it was a very lengthy process.

“She liked people, got along with them, and always wanted people to get a fair shake on their taxes. She was very proud of her work. She had a good work ethic, and she was admired,” the mayor said.

Mrs. Ward often played the accordion on radio as a child growing up on Van Buren Avenue, in East Toledo, her sister said, and once accompanied vocalist Teresa Brewer before the singer left Toledo, Mrs. Ward's sister, Marilyn Wuest, said.

She briefly hosted a fish cooking show on early Toledo television based on what Mrs. Ward learned from working at the family fishery.

“She was a perfectionist in everything she did. It showed in the quilting she did, it showed in her cooking, and it showed in her appearance,” Mrs. Wuest said. “She helped make the quilt `Windows on Ohio' that is on permanent display at Maumee Bay State Park.”

Mrs. Ward was a member of the Cellar Sewers and the Quilt Foundry Guild, where she honed her sewing skills “and she never missed a stitch, because if she did, she wouldn't stop until she fixed it,” her sister recalled. “It takes a woman to appreciate that.”

Bingo, card parties with her friends, hooking and braiding rugs, cooking for family and friends, and golf were among the activities Mrs. Ward enjoyed, including a hole in one that she sank at the Heather Downs Country Club in South Toledo in the 1960s.

“We used to kid my stepfather, Clifford Ward, that it wasn't luck. He was a golfer, and he never hit a hole in one,” her son said. Mr. Ward died in 1989.

Surviving are her son, Arthur Sradeja; brother, Gerald Hosko; sister, Marilyn Wuest; four grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. today in Holy Rosary Church, Wheeling and York streets. Arrangements are being handled by the Hoeflinger Funeral Home, Navarre Avenue. The family requests tributes to the church or Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township.



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