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Published: Monday, 6/9/2003

L-O-F official was parish youth coach

William C. Abel, superintendent of the bending plant at the East Broadway Libbey-Owens-Ford Co. plant until it closed, died Friday of pancreatic cancer at his home in Toledo. He was 76.

Mr. Abel traveled to other L-O-F plants in Ontario, Texas, and California as a consultant after the East Broadway plant closed. He was interim plant manager for three years in Collingwood, Ont., and spent six years at the Stockton, Calif., plant.

He was born in 1926 in Monclova Township and missed his high school graduation ceremony after enlisting in the Navy.

He was stationed in the South Pacific, and was in the fleet of ships that included the USS Missouri, the battleship on which Japan offered its surrender, said his daughter, Gail Tucholski.

Mr. Abel coached Catholic Youth Organization basketball and softball at St. Joseph's Church in Maumee for about 30 years, and took the basketball team to the state finals one year.

He won awards for coaching for so long. After he stopped in 1985, he helped his son Rick coach, Mrs. Tucholski said.

“He liked doing that for the kids,” she said. “He helped his parish out that way.”

At the end of the season, he would take all the boys out for a meal. “Usually a buffet, because the boys could eat a lot,” Mrs. Tucholski said.

Mr. Abel enjoyed fishing and boating, and owned a boat most of his adult life, said his son Mike Abel.

He also enjoyed sightseeing. After he retired in 1987, he traveled to California, Florida, and Canada, Mike Abel said.

Some of Mr. Abel's California trips were to see his son Mike. His daughter said nothing made him happier than having his family together.

“We used to get together a lot for cookouts and holidays, and that's what made him happy,” she said.

Mr. Abel married Mary Ann Simon in 1948. She died in 1990.

Surviving are his sons, Rick and Mike; his daughter, Gail Tucholski, and three grandchildren.

Visitation will be after 2 p.m. today at the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home, Maumee. A funeral Mass will at 10 a.m. in St. Joseph's Church in Maumee.

The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township.



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