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Published: Tuesday, 6/5/2001

Volunteer fire dispatcher was on call 24 hours a day

Doris L. Wilt, a longtime volunteer for the Springfield Township fire department and a member of several political organizations, died Sunday in St. Luke's Hospital, Maumee. She was 75.

Mrs. Wilt died of complications from an aortic aneurysm, relatives said.

As a volunteer dispatcher for the Springfield Township fire department, Mrs. Wilt was on call 24 hours a day at her home, leaving only when she was certain other family members could answer the phone.

Mrs. Wilt became involved with the department through her husband, Edwin J. Wilt, whom she married in 1946 in Toledo. He was a deputy fire chief for more than 12 years before he died April 19, 1991.

Her son, Robert E. Wilt, said many meals and holidays were interrupted by emergency calls.

“My parents always had to go save some lives,” he said.

Mrs. Wilt was a member and past president of the Springfield Township fire department ladies auxiliary and held an honorary membership in the Springfield Township McCord Road Fireman's Association. She helped the auxiliary board bring food and blankets to firefighters at emergency scenes, relatives recalled.

Mrs. Wilt's activities extended beyond the assistance she provided to the fire department. She served 30 years as a poll worker for the Lucas County board of elections, was a past president of her township's Republican Party, and served as a delegate at the 1976 Ford/Dole convention.

After retiring from her voluntary position as a dispatcher, Mrs. Wilt indulged her love of cooking by taking a job as a grill cook at Timber's Bowling Lanes. She retired in 1992 after 14 years at the grill.

“Everybody at the lanes always raved about her hamburgers,” Robert Wilt said.

Mrs. Wilt enjoyed gardening, knitting, bowling, and crossword puzzles, relatives said. Her son, Robert, said she always stayed active and cherished her family.

“There was nothing she wouldn't do for us,” he said. “When we were kids, we would ask her to make brownies at 9:30 at night for school the next day, and she'd head into the kitchen.”

Mrs. Wilt is survived by her daughters, Gladys A. Whitman and Caroline "Carrie" Wilt; sons, Robert E. "Bobe" and David D; sister, Jean Collins; four granddaughters, and three great grandchildren.

A special service will be held at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the Neville Funeral Home Southwest Chapel, 7438 Airport Highway, Holland. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday in St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, 5240 Talmadge Road.

The family requests that tributes go to Lend-A-Paw.

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