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Published: Wednesday, 5/9/2001

Teacher carried work experience into classroom

Dorothy K. Archambeau, a business teacher in the Whiteford Agricultural Schools whose real-life office experience infused her teaching and inspired her students, died of cancer yesterday in the Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township. She was 82.

She and her husband, James “Archie” Archambeau, moved at the end of February from their Monclova Township farm to the Lutheran Village at Wolf Creek in Springfield Township. She had been ill about a month, her daughter Jane Archambeau said.

Mrs. Archambeau was born in a Monclova Township farmhouse and graduated from the former Monclova High School. She knew she wanted to be a teacher, and she attended Bowling Green State University for three years.

She did secretarial work for the immigration office at the federal building in Toledo, and “she was very skilled at what she did,” her daughter said.

Mrs. Archambeau and her husband married Aug. 21, 1945, and she left the workplace to have children and care for her family.

When her two daughters were in grade school, she returned to BGSU to complete her final year and to student teach.

“She was in her early 40s when she graduated,” daughter Jane said. “It was difficult, but I remember her practicing her speeches for speech class. She worked very hard, and she was very successful.

“She was an amazing woman; she did it all back then,” she said. “I became an educator and my sister, Mary Lou, became a nurse. Having her out in the work world made us think about what we wanted to do, too.”

Mrs. Archambeau taught business courses - typing, shorthand, business machines, office practice - for 19 years, all in the Whiteford schools, Ottawa Lake. She retired in 1980.

“She was the most respected teacher on staff,” Marjorie Brice, a home economics teacher who became a guidance counselor, said. “She was the kind of person you could count on.”

Students kept in touch with Mrs. Archambeau to let her know their experiences in her classroom helped them in the workplace. They described her as cheerful and gracious - and firm.

“She was definitely a disciplinarian,” Jonette Peete, a student in the early 1960s, said. “In business you have to be. This is the way her classroom was run. She expected each student to achieve, and she saw that you did.”

Mrs. Peete's first job after high school was secretary to the Whiteford secondary principal. She later worked in the superintendent's office.

Bonnie Holtz Moore, who became secretary of Our Saviour Lutheran Church, said: “She was always ready to answer questions and prepare students for the career world.”

In retirement, Mrs. Archambeau took classes in weaving and basket-making at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tenn. She bought a loom and made rag rugs, place mat sets, and chenille scarves for family and friends. She made a coat for herself.

She and her husband traveled the country in their motor home. She always kept a vegetable garden and canned or froze the tomatoes, squash, zucchini, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries she grew there.

Mrs. Archambeau was a member of the Monclova Republican Club.

Surviving are her husband, James; daughters, Jane Archambeau and Mary Lou Bock; brother, Robert Kiefer, and three granddaughters.

The family requests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township.



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