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Published: Sunday, 10/28/2001

Toledo ceramist taught her skill in TPS

Lucy M. Mizelle, a skilled ceramist who taught her art in her Point Place home and in the Toledo Public Schools, died from kidney failure Friday in Riverside Mercy Hospital. She was 87.

Mrs. Mizelle, although not formally a teacher, was a ceramics instructor in the school system two or three days a week for more than a decade, first at Lagrange Elementary School. She retired in the mid-1970s from East Side Central Elementary School, her sister, Theadora Szymkowiak, said.

Some classes were during the day; others were in the evening, but she didn't drive and had to take two buses.

“She enjoyed trying to get somebody into the creating, the making of things,” her sister said.

She'd already established herself as a teacher, passing along what she'd learned to students in her home.

“She was a beautiful artist,” her sister said. “Friends kept asking her, `Lucy, will you please teach us.' She liked people; she liked the company.”

Although Mrs. Mizelle did not teach in recent years, former students called regularly on her birthday, on Christmas, and to take her out to dinner, her sister said..

Mrs. Mizelle's own work - Nativity sets, angels, dolls, lamps, plaques - won awards at Lucas County Recreation Center ceramics shows. She sold many pieces at arts and crafts shows, family members said.

She found other avenues of artistic expression: making stationery or painting china.

“She was very talented. She was just artistically inclined,” her daughter, Mardell Walsh said.

Mrs. Mizelle was reared in North Toledo and attended Central Catholic High School. Her father was shot and killed in a robbery, and she went to work at the Libbey Glass plant to help the family.

She and her husband, Hugh, met at the factory and married Aug. 26, 1933. She stopped working to care for her children, but returned to factory work during World War II.

She had no hobbies, her daughter said, because she spent her free time on her art and craft work. She liked to cook and bake, and she and her husband made cookies and candy at Christmas time.

Mr. Mizelle died March 4, 1996.

Surviving are her daughters, Mardell Walsh and Pamela Heudecker; son, Leland; sisters, Virginia Bilger and Theadora Szymkowiak; six grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the David R. Jasin Mortuary after 2 p.m. tomorrow, with Scripture services at 7 p.m. in the mortuary. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday in St. John the Baptist Church, where she was a member.

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



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