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Published: Wednesday, 7/2/2003

O-I patent attorney ran 1st Glass City Marathon

Richard D. Heberling, a retired Owens-Illinois, Inc., patent attorney who had a degree in chemical engineering, died Monday in Foundation Park Care Center. He was 79.

The cause of death was not known, said his son Dan, in whose South Toledo home Mr. Heberling lived since a stroke two years ago.

Mr. Heberling, formerly of Waterville Township, retired in the 1980s from O-I, where he had been a patent attorney for about 20 years.

He traveled to Washington frequently and argued company cases in court. He also represented O-I in its patent dealings with other corporations.

He came home with beverage containers and packaging that the firm had developed, but long before such items reached supermarket shelves.

“He liked research. He liked to plug away,” his son said. “He liked the novelty of getting to know new things that he could help develop patents on.”

Mr. Heberling received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the then-Case Institute of Technology.

While working at Ferro Corp. in Cleveland, he attended Cleveland Marshall Law School at night.

His first job as a young lawyer was with a Cleveland firm that specialized in patents, “which was a real good place to apply his chemical [engineering] background,” his son said.

Mr. Heberling moved to Toledo in 1965 to work for O-I. In retirement, he continued work in patent law - much of it for O-I - at the law firm, Marshall & Melhorn, from which he retired in 1995.

He grew up in Fremont, the son of Dawson and Esther Crowell Heberling - both of whom belonged to families that had made Sandusky County home since the early 19th century.

Mr. Heberling moved with his family to the Cleveland area in the 1930s.

He was a graduate of Lakewood High School.

He interrupted his college career to enlist in the Army during World War II, assigned first to the engineering corps in Baton Rouge, and later, as a firefighter in Europe.

Mr. Heberling wrestled in college and played softball and basketball as a young man in Cleveland.

When he moved to Toledo, he took up long-distance running. He participated in the first Glass City Marathon in the 1970s and many other runs. He amassed several dozen trophies for finishing first in his age class. He stopped running about a decade ago.

“He was always interested in being physically healthy,” his son said.

He was a former president of the Waterville Rotary Club.

Surviving are his wife, Louise, whom he married in 1949; sons Dan and Rick; daughter, Marilynn; four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

There will be no visitation. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Sylvania United Church of Christ, where the family will receive friends after 10 a.m. Arrangements are be handled by the Reeb Mortuary.

The family request tributes to the Family Fund at St. Charles Mercy Hospital.



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