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Published: Wednesday, 12/11/2002

Shoe repair owner played clarinet for VFW, church bands

FOSTORIA - Roy C. Kissling, 88, former owner of Roy's Shoe Repair who played the clarinet and restored antiques in his spare time, died of congestive heart failure Monday in Fostoria Community Hospital.

Mr. Kissling operated his shop on Center Street for many years, first with a partner, Dave Frankhart, and then on his own after Mr. Frankhart died in the 1950s.

“He liked everybody,” Anita Meili, his daughter, said. “He was very honest. The prices for his work were good. In a small town, that reputation spreads and you get known as somebody who is good to go to.”

He was particularly proud of a prototype safety shoe he made entirely by hand for employees of an area utility company, she said.

Born near Kansas, Ohio, in rural Sandusky County, Mr. Kissling grew up on a farm south of Amsden, Ohio. He graduated in 1932 from the former Jackson High School.

After high school, he worked at a foundry in Fostoria for several years and began to learn the shoe repair trade from an acquaintance. “I think it was Daddy's personality,” Mrs. Meili said. “He wanted to strike out on his own.”

Mr. Kissling played the clarinet for the Veterans of Foreign Wars band in Fostoria and for the Sunday school orchestra at Grace United Church of Christ.

Surviving are his wife, Doryce; daughters, Anita Meili and Eva Lynn Fruchey; five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 1 p.m. tomorrow in the Harrold-Florina Funeral Home, where the body will be after 7 tonight.

The family requests tributes be to the church or the Fostoria Masonic Endowment Fund.

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