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Published: Tuesday, 11/18/2003

Steel worker known for sports, humor

SWANTON - William Richard Scherer, a New Zealand native who worked for more than 30 years at Chrysler Corp. and Baron Drawn Steel, died of lung cancer at his home here Friday. He was 59.

Mr. Scherer was a big sports fan who held season-tickets for University of Toledo men s basketball for over 20 years. Family members said he loved time with family and friends as well as talking about sports, particularly baseball and basketball.

Mr. Scherer s wife, Laura, said her husband was active in several organizations, including the American Legion, Valleywood Golf Club, and Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church.

She said people found him friendly, comforting, and always ready for a good laugh.

“He was kind-hearted and had a great sense of humor,” Mrs. Scherer said. “He was very unselfish. He would always put other people first. I will remember the way he always cared for people.”

Leslie Nikolakos said her father was attentive, coaching his children and their teams in basketball, baseball, and softball. He played varsity baseball and basketball while attending Whitmer High School.

Mr. Scherer was born in Auckland, New Zealand, during World War II while his father was part of the U.S. Marine Corps.

His mother was a British nurse in a New Zealand hospital, and his father was suffering from malaria in the hospital and that s how they met, Mrs. Scherer said. They married and then moved to Toledo.

After growing up in the Trilby area and graduating from Whitmer in 1962, Mr. Scherer joined the Army National Guard. He worked with Chrysler for 12 years and Baron Drawn Steel for 22 years before retiring this past year.

Mr. Scherer is survived by his wife, Laura; daughters, Leslie Nikolakos and Erin Scherer; son, Matt; stepdaughter, Beth Topolski; stepson, Mark Topolski; brother, Tim; sister, Rosemary Fox; and a grandson.

Visitation for Mr. Scherer will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at Neville Funeral Home Southwest Chapel in Holland. The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church in Swanton.

The family suggests that tributes be made to Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church.

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