Liesa Dianne Radford, an occupational therapist at the Anne Grady Center, died Sept. 14 when she was struck by several vehicles on the Ohio Turnpike, about five miles west of the Reynolds Road interchange. She was 44.
The Lucas County coroner ruled the death a suicide.
The Whitehouse resident graduated from Clay High School and received an associate's degree in occupational therapy from Lourdes College in 1987.
She worked at Heartland of Perrysburg and Heartland of Oregon before taking a job with the Anne Grady Corp. a few years ago, her daughter, Brittany, said.
She was an occupational therapy assistant for about 26 of the center's mentally challenged residents, her daughter said.
At the Anne Grady Center, she introduced water therapy for the residents.
“She took the residents and did therapy in the water with them to help relax the joints,” Brittany said.
She also started an exercise program for the staff that included aerobics and yoga classes. “She always tried her best to make other people happy and to help others,” her daughter said.
Ms. Radford had studied at the Toledo Ballet School, where she performed in the Nutcracker. While a teenager, Ms. Radford was a background dancer for opera performances. She also danced at the Life Dance Theatre, her mother, Marion Winters, said.
Surviving are her son, Joshua; daughter, Brittany; mother and stepfather, Marion and Gene Winters; father and stepmother, Robert and Nasibe Giblin; sisters, Linda Blaesing and Tiffanie Schroeder; stepsister, Jill Kuehn, and stepbrother, Jeff Kratz.
Visitation is tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Walter Funeral Home, with funeral services at 11 a.m.
The family suggests tributes to a charity of the donor's choice.