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Published: Monday, 9/1/2003

Widow operated husband's company

Marcile “Marcie” Miller, who owned and operated Banner & Southwyck Construction Co., first with her husband and then by herself for 20 years, died from complications during kidney surgery in Toledo Hospital Saturday. She was 89.

There was never a challenge Marcie Miller turned away from, said her daughter, Louise Suchy. Whether it was raising her children, starting a new life in the big city, or running a construction company, Mrs. Miller took on new adventures with a smile and determination, her daughter said.

“She had an aggressive personality, and there was nothing she didn't feel like she could do,” Mrs. Suchy said. “She simply never took `no' for an answer, with me or anyone else. She would ask a lot of questions, but that's how she learned.”

Mrs. Miller was born in Kalida, Ohio. She and her husband, Irvin, lived there before the couple moved to Toledo in search of a better life.

“My dad got a factory job, but he really wasn't satisfied,” Mrs. Suchy said. “My mother was a housewife then, busy raising us children.”

Mrs. Suchy said her father began doing rehabilitation construction work on homes for insurance companies. That work grew into Banner & Southwyck Construction. Mrs. Miller joined in to do the bookkeeping for the company.

The company continued to do its rehabilitation construction work along with building new home additions.

In 1983, after roughly 15 years of building the business, Mr. Miller died, leaving the construction business to his wife, Mrs. Suchy said.

“She just took the bull by the horns and went out and did it,” Mrs. Suchy said. “She did all the books and talked to the adjusters on the phone, so it was a good foundation to take over the business. She had a couple of men who worked for the company that she really trusted and she did it for 20 years.”

Mrs. Suchy said her mother learned the construction business by asking questions and learning from the people who worked with her husband. She said her mother was never overwhelmed by the experience and enjoyed the challenge.

“She was in a man's world doing a man's job and she was proud of it,” Mrs. Suchy said of her mother. “She was very active in the company until just recently, less than a year ago. She was very much up to the challenge.”

Mrs. Suchy said her mother was active in Maranatha Chapel in Perrysburg and was active with the Toledo Symphony. She was a member of the Ohio State Mother's Club, Toledo Business Women's Association, the Toledo Remodelers Association, the Better Business Bureau, the Toledo Opera Association, and the Pentecostal Church of God in Toledo.

Mrs. Suchy said her mother also spent a lot of time assisting her daughter, Shelia Ann Miller, who suffered from mental retardation. She said her mother, in turn, was an advocate for issues regarding mental retardation locally as well.

Most of Mrs. Miller's activities away from the company centered around her family and the church, Mrs. Suchy said.

Mrs. Miller is survived by daughters Louise Suchy and Shelia Ann Miller; six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Walter Funeral Home, 4653 Glendale Ave., where funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The family suggests tributes to the Anne Grady Center in Springfield Township.



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