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Published: Wednesday, 6/25/2003

Mechanic served village schools

GIBSONBURG, Ohio - Marvin L. Smith, a skilled auto mechanic who served on the Gibsonburg Exempted Village board of education in the 1950s, died of leukemia Monday in St. Luke's Hospital. He was 83.

Mr. Smith was a mechanic at the former Keller's Garage in Gibsonburg and later worked more than 10 years at Keller Chevrolet from the mid 1950s to about 1967, Mildred Smith, his wife, said.

He was mainly self-taught, acquiring his knowledge while growing up on a farm and tinkering with cars.

Mr. Smith took great pride in restoring a 1932 Chevrolet that in later years he took to parades and entered in car shows, his wife said.

One of his visits was to the Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio. “We took the old car, and the fastest we ever drove it was 45 mph,” his wife said.

During the 1950s, Mr. Smith served on the Gibsonburg board of education, helping oversee the addition of a gymnasium and several classrooms to the high school.

“He liked working with the schoolchildren and the school board,” Mrs. Smith said. “He was honored to serve.”

Mr. Smith's employment was cut short by a stroke at the age of 48. He tried to return to work, but was hit by a series of heart attacks that forced him to retire due to disability, his wife said.

In later years, he built small projects around the house and cultivated a garden.

“We had just about every vegetable you could find,” Mrs. Smith said. “Anything in the garden he thought anybody would want, he was happy to give it away.”

A former Gibsonburg volunteer firefighter, Mr. Smith received a certificate in May from the Council of Catholic Women for his volunteer efforts to help make homemade noodles and applesauce for the Altar and Rosary Society of St. Michael's Church.

Surviving are his wife, Mildred; son, Theodore; three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Michael's Church. The body will be in the Herman-Kinn-Veh Funeral Home after 2 p.m. tomorrow.

The family requests tributes to a charity of the donor's choice.

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