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Published: Thursday, 7/29/2004

Teacher was also a piano technician

McCOMB, Ohio - Kenneth M. McClary, a retired teacher who taught the fourth grade in the Northwood Local School District for 30 years, died Tuesday in Birchaven Retirement Village, Findlay, after suffering a stroke and a seizure at the end of a long bout with Alzheimer's disease. He was 84.

"He loved teaching, and he loved the kids," his wife, Mary Ann McClary, said. "He never missed a day of school because he was so dedicated."

Mr. McClary, a Bucyrus, Ohio, native, graduated from Bucyrus High School in 1937 and gave guitar lessons in Bucyrus, Mansfield, Fremont, and Wayne, Ohio, for several years.

From 1943 until the end of Wold War II, Mr. McClary fought in Europe, where he took part in the Battle of the Bulge as a mechanic with the 1255th Engineer Combat Battalion. He was honorably discharged in 1946 with two Bronze Stars.

After the war, Mr. McClary returned to Wayne and used the GI Bill to attend Bowling Green State University. He graduated in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in education and then taught for Northwood schools until he retired in 1980.

He also was a piano technician from about 1962 to 1997, driving to customers' homes throughout northwest Ohio.

In retirement, Mr. McClary liked to play a guitar, a hobby dating back to his teenage years.

Mr. McClary attended the Wayne United Methodist Church. He was a member of AMVETS Post 21 in Findlay, and was a former member of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Club of Winchester, Ind.

Surviving are his wife, Mary Ann McClary; sons, Michael and Kent; stepsons, Wayne Siferd, Tom Siferd, and Larry Siferd; two stepdaughters; 11 step-grandchildren, and 14 step-great-grandchildren.

Services will be at noon today in the Hartley Funeral Home, McComb, where the body will be after 9 this morning.

The family suggests tributes to the Birchaven Retirement Village.

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