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Published: Monday, 8/12/2002

Bookkeeper loved music, performing in public

MARTIN, Ohio - Mabel Ruth Boss, who helped her husband with an excavating business and who had an abiding interest in Christian music, died Saturday at Bethesda Care Center, Fremont, following a recent stroke. She was 95.

Mrs. Boss was a bookkeeper for her husband's firm, Harry S. Boss Excavating. Mr. Boss installed drain tile and constructed basement foundations in Ottawa County and nearby communities, Ruth Walters, her daughter, said. For a time the firm manufactured concrete drain tile.

“She helped out in the day-to-day operations like you do in any family-owned business,” her daughter said. “She kept the books, answered the telephone, and that kind of thing.” The couple ran the business for more than 35 years, closing it more than 20 years ago.

The couple met at a dance at Forest Park and married in 1930, two years after Mrs. Boss graduated from Genoa High School.

For many years, she played the trumpet at Toledo Gospel Tabernacle, which became First Alliance Church. She took up the trumpet when she met her husband, Harry.

“My dad was the one who played the trumpet,” Mrs. Walters said. “He was playing in a dance band. She picked it up and played it very easily. He said she should take lessons.”

She began studying the instrument at the former Bach Conservatory of Music in Toledo.

She got so good she played solos for her church that were broadcast on local radio stations, her daughter said. At the same time, her musical studies of Christian music would redirect her husband's playing.

“She loved the music. She loved the dancing,” Mrs. Walters said. “But she didn't like the places he played. They both accepted the Lord. That was one of the things he didn't do anymore, was play in a dance band.”

She also studied the piano and took up the accordion at age 50.

Mrs. Walters described her mother as a quiet, strong woman who took it upon herself to care for her husband at home for 10 years while he suffered from Alzheimer's disease. At that time, state hospitals were about the only treatment option for such patients. Mr. Boss died in 1982.

“She had a sense of humor and was a very strong lady,” her daughter said.

Mrs. Boss was a member of the Gideon's Auxiliary and Fremont Alliance Church.

Surviving are her daughters, Ruth Walters and Betty Hamilton; sons, Dennis and Willis; 10 grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; three step-great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Crosser Funeral Home, Oak Harbor, where the body will be after 2 p.m. today. The family requests tributes to Gideon International.



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