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Published: Friday, 10/24/2003

County treasurer improved investments

PORT CLINTON - Pauline C. Freimark, one of the few Republicans ever elected to county-wide office in Ottawa County, died of a brain tumor Tuesday at the Riverview Senior Healthcare campus in Oak Harbor, Ohio. She was 83.

Mrs. Freimark was elected county treasurer to fill an unexpired term in 1966, and wasn't deterred after a traffic accident left her with the loss of her left arm in 1968, William Freimark, her son, said. She was re-elected that year and continued to serve until retiring in 1989.

A coil of steel fell from a truck onto her car that her husband had parked on the side of the road while she was campaigning, he said.

“The accident left her in a coma,” her son said. “But she was back to work part-time in two weeks. She was a strong-willed woman.”

The reason for her initial run for office has been forgotten, Mr. Freimark said. But she decided to give elected office a try after her husband failed in a similar bid a few years earlier.

The treasurer's job, which includes the collection of county real estate taxes, was a little overwhelming for her at first, he said.

“Back then, there weren't computers,” he said. “But she worked every day and had a great bunch of gals at the court house. Some of them had worked for the previous treasurer, and they got her tuned in to how everything worked.”

Among her accomplishments was beginning a program that restructured how county funds were invested to yield a better return, but still leaving money readily accessible on short notice, her son said.

She also pursued delinquent property taxpayers more aggressively, he said.

Prior to serving as treasurer, she was a secretary at the Erie Army Depot and kept the books at Freimark Motors, a Mercury dealership operated by her husband in Port Clinton.

In her spare time, Mrs. Freimark enjoyed needlepoint work, which she did with a special easel so she could make items with one hand. An eagle she made still hangs in the county courthouse.

Her husband, Merrel, died in 1972.

Surviving are her daughter, Joanne Kohn; son, William; brother, Joseph Crago; six grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; four step grandchildren; six step great-grandchildren, and four step great-great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow in Immaculate Conception Church here. The body will be in the Gerner-Wolf-Brossia-Mark Funeral Home after 2 p.m. today.

The family suggests tributes to the church.

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