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Published: Monday, 10/6/2003

Teacher also wrote cookbooks

Emily A. Leister, a South Toledoan who taught home economics in Toledo Public Schools for 15 years and was a food consultant who authored several cookbooks, died yesterday in the Elizabeth Scott Care Center. She was 96.

The exact cause of death was not known, said her son, Reginald.

She would be remembered by friends and family mostly for her cooking, Mr. Leister said.

Mrs. Leister celebrated her birthday each year with a ride on her son's motorcycle. “I would take her up to the speed of her age that year,” he said. “I think we did it every year up until about 89.”

A native of Oberlin, Ohio, she received a bachelor's degree in home economics in 1929 from Ohio State University.

She taught home economics for five years in Oak Harbor schools, then was home service director for a year at the former Ohio Fuel Gas Co. in Toledo.

In 1935, she married Reginald S. Leister. Together, they started the Leister Game Co. from their home in 1938. The firm specialized in such novelty items as bumper stickers, gag gifts, and comic signs.

That same year, Mrs. Leister took a position at what was then the new Girls Vocational School in Toledo. She later taught food courses at Whitney High School.

She also managed the cafeteria at the former Macomber Vocational High School.

Before retiring in the 1970s, Mrs. Leister worked for a time as the dietitian at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center.

In her later years, Mrs. Leister was a food consultant and wrote several cookbooks, her son said.

Her husband died in 1977.

Surviving are her son, Reginald; daughter, Peggy Maish; eight grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the Coyle Funeral Home after 2 p.m. Wednesday, where funeral services will be held at 6 p.m.

The family suggests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township or the Toledo Animal Shelter.

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