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Published: Monday, 9/22/2003

Executive liked to help workers grow, develop

Marian A. Essex, 78, a Toledo executive who held several personnel development and coordination positions, including at the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, died yesterday in her West Toledo home.

The cause of death was acute myeloblastic leukemia, said her daughter Michelle Newton.

“She enjoyed personnel work and staff development,” Mrs. Newton said. “She was interested in helping people develop in their positions and see them grow.”

Mrs. Essex was born in the Bowling Green area. After high school, she took a job as a typist for a time. In 1954, she began working as secretary for the personnel manager at A & P Tea Co.

She was later hired as the personnel director at Flower Hospital and then the training director for the Lasalle division of the R.H. Macy & Co. in Toledo.

“At first she was the training director for the Toledo branch, but later she did all the Lasalle stores,” Mrs. Newton said.

Mrs. Essex moved to Dallas in 1968 when her husband, Thomas Essex, was transferred there by his company, Carling Brewing Co.

While in Dallas, Mrs. Essex was director of volunteer services for the Baylor University Medical Center and a seminar leader in the business education division of Dunn and Bradstreet in New York, her daughter said. Two years later, Mr. Essex was transferred to St. Louis, where they lived until 1974.

The couple moved back to Toledo, and Mr. Essex bought a bar, The Sportsman, on Starr Avenue, soon afterward. The family continues to operate the bar.

Mrs. Essex was named staff development coordinator of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library in August, 1983. She was responsible was planning and implementing staff orientation, training, and development.

After retiring from the library in 1990, Mrs. Essex served as a tour director for the American Association of Retired Persons of Toledo and Charter Bus Unlimited of Detroit. She also did print and television commercials and performed in community theater, Mrs. Newton said.

“Although she was innately shy, she was very generous with her time for people,” Mrs. Newton said. “She was a very gracious person and a woman of elegance and sophistication.”

Her husband died in March, 2002. They were married 60 years.

Surviving are her daughters, Linda Thibert, Cheryl Ward, Beth Essex, Michelle Newton, Jane Womack; son, Patrick Essex; 15 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.

The body will be in Coyle Funeral Home, after 2 p.m. tomorrow, where a Scripture service will be recited at 7:30 p.m. Funeral services will begin in the mortuary at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, followed by a Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Pius X Church.

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

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