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Published: Sunday, 5/16/2004

Coach switched careers, became L-O-F executive

Dale H. Kuhlman, 87, of Perrysburg, whose charisma and energy won him success as an athlete and coach and as an executive with the Libbey-Owens-Ford Co., died yesterday in St. Luke's Hospital from complications of a stroke suffered Friday morning.

He was a regular at the Perrysburg Senior Center and attended Zoar Lutheran Church, of which he was a former president, his daughter Carol Overmyer said.

Mr. Kuhlman returned from Navy service aboard a Liberty Ship during World War II and realized that to support his new family, he had to leave teaching behind. Earlier, he coached Wayne High School football, basketball, and track teams to Wood County championships in the 1930s. He coached and taught at Perrysburg High School from 1938 to 1942.

He was hired by L-O-F and became an assistant personnel director and safety director. He was promoted to personnel director in 1956. He retired in 1974 as corporate personnel and safety director.

He was assistant to the president of Mid-Am Bank from 1975 to 1985.

Mr. Kuhlman grew up in Pemberville and was an athlete at the former Webster High School, now part of the Eastwood Local Schools. He received nine letters in baseball, basketball, and football at Bowling Green State University. He graduated in 1938 as a physical education major and was president of his junior and senior classes.

Though he gave up coaching as a career, he was manager after World War II of a baseball team sponsored by auto dealer Carl Schmidt, the Perrysburg Schmidt Chevrolets. The team in the 1950s won northern Ohio, Ohio, and Ohio-Michigan tournaments and played in a National Baseball Congress tournament.

"It was a good outlet for him," his daughter said. "He was very charismatic. People kind of looked up to him."

He was called to active duty by the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1951 and was a safety and security officer for 2 1/2 years of the navy supply depot at Bayonne, N.J. He became commanding officer of U.S. Naval Reserve Surface Division 4-111 in Toledo in 1957.

He was a former board member of St. Charles Hospital and Mid-Am Bank and served on the Perrysburg city charter commission. He was a former president of the Perrysburg Exchange Club.

He and his wife, Geraldine, spent winters in Haines City, Fla., for 23 years and visited much of Europe.

Mr. Kuhlman, even at 87, got along with all age groups, his daughter said.

He and his wife married Dec. 27, 1941. She died Jan. 31, 2002.

Surviving are his daughters, Carol Overmyer, Linda Pavia, and Debra Bosl, and four grandchildren.

The body will be in the Witzler-Shank Mortuary, Perrysburg, after 2 p.m. tomorrow. Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the church. The family suggests tributes to the church or Perrysburg Senior Center.



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