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Published: Thursday, 3/20/2003

Church organist taught in Sylvania

Frances M. Linenkugel, who went to college in her 40s and became a schoolteacher, died Monday in the Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township. She was 81.

She had cancer, her son William said.

Mrs. Linenkugel, of Reynolds Corners, was a graduate of Libbey High School. She worked at the Rossford Ordnance Depot during World War II and was a bookkeeper and secretary at Doehler-Jarvis Co.

“When I was in school, most of my peers didn't have working moms. I did,” said her daughter, Karen Fall-Miller. “I consider her ahead of her time. She was just such a strong woman and a fantastic role model.”

Mrs. Linenkugel, in her 40s, went to the former Mary Manse College and received a bachelor's degree.

“She just decided that she needed a career change, and education appealed to her,” her son said. “She was a scholarly woman.”

She was a teacher for about eight years, until the late 1970s, at St. Joseph School in Sylvania. She taught third grade at first and later, fifth grade.

“They were like her own children,” her son said.

She left to pursue graduate studies at the University of Toledo. She received a master's degree and was a substitute teacher for the Toledo Public Schools.

She did not find a permanent teaching job. Instead, she became an office manager for Seilon, Inc. She retired in the early 1990s.

“She made the best of what she had to work with. She took everything on as a new experience,” her son said.

Mrs. Linenkugel was an organist in Toledo-area Roman Catholic churches for about 40 years, including Little Flower Church.

As a young woman, she played piano in a dance band led by her brother-in-law Louis Linenkugel. She liked to knit, crochet, and do needlework, and she read widely, her son said.

She and her husband, Walter, married Nov. 25, 1943. He died in November, 2000.

Surviving are her sons, William and James; daughter, Karen Fall-Miller; sisters, Catherine Balwinski, Rose Glanzman, Doris Wallace, and Mary Fall; brothers, Charles, Jerome, Raymond, Joseph, and Richard Fall; six grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

There will be no visitation. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in Little Flower Church, where the family will receive visitors after 10 a.m. Arrangements are by the Thomas I. Wisniewski Mortuary.

The family requests tributes to the church, Hospice of Northwest Ohio, or to a charity of the donor's choice.

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