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Published: Saturday, 12/13/2003

Century Elevator exec was machinist

Arthur J. Pollauf, 84, a skilled machinist who was a vice president of the elevator company his father founded, died Wednesday in his West Toledo home from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

He retired in the early 1980s from a small South Toledo machine shop.

He d previously worked for the Art Iron Co. and Bunting Brass & Bronze and was a foreman for Toledo Beaver Tools Co., his son David said.

Mr. Pollauf grew up on the east side and was a 1937 graduate of Central Catholic High School.

While in high school, he swept floors at Kerscher Elevator, of which his father, Joseph, was a part-owner. He later attended the former DeSales College.

Mr. Pollauf was an Army Air Corps veteran of World War II, serving as a mechanic at a California air base. After the war, his father founded Century Elevator Co. with several of his sons, including Arthur, who was a vice president.

Century, located on Pemberville Road in Wood County, made, installed, and serviced hydraulic elevators, including dumb waiters and chair lifts, and small elevators for hospitals, schools, and small businesses.

“There are still elevators in Toledo that were Century Elevators,” Mr. Pollauf s son David said. “It wasn t a large company. It was a family company.”

The elder Mr. Pollauf was president. One son was in charge of the books, but all of them installed elevators and made service calls. A late 1950s recession was a blow to Century. Mr. Pollauf stayed with the firm until 1963, his son said. The firm closed in the early 1970s.

In retirement, he did free-lance machining work for local automotive-related firms.

Working with his hands was a pastime too.

He performed household electrical and plumbing repairs. One Christmas, he took designs from magazines and made toys for his children, including fashioning from wood small cannons on two wheels - “just like an 1812 Napoleonic cannon,” his son said - that fired little wooden shells he also made.

He read the Westerns of Louis L Amour, and he and his wife traveled the country in their motor home. He was a loyal family man and was dedicated to his Roman Catholic faith, his son said.

Surviving are his wife, Alois, whom he married Jan. 9, 1943; sons, James, Gary, and David Pollauf; daughter, Patricia Roshak; brother, Fred Pollauf; sisters, Rita Denies, Laurine Calmes, and Virginia Seeman; 16 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the Walker Funeral Home after 2 p.m. today, with a recitation of the Rosary at 7 p.m. tomorrow in the funeral home. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Gesu Church, of which he was a member.

The family suggests tributes to the church or the Hospice of Northwest Ohio.



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