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Published: Saturday, 8/7/2004

Centenarian taught game of bridge to thousands

BOWLING GREEN - Evelyn Steidtmann, who taught bridge for more than 50 years and in 1967 helped found the Bowling Green Duplicate Bridge Club, died Wednesday in Heritage Inn, an assisted living facility here. She was 102.

Relatives did not know the cause of death.

"She had thousands of bridge students over the 50 years that she taught bridge," her daughter, Sally Crawford, said.

Mrs. Steidtmann, who played competitive bridge until she was 95, had students who became nationally known players. Mrs. Steidtmann was known as an excellent player herself.

"It was always fun to play with her," Fran Keefe, a friend and fellow player, said. "She was never critical at the table."

Mrs. Steidtmann, who was born near South Haven, Mich., had a bachelor of arts and sciences degree from Kalamazoo College and a master's degree in botany from the University of Michigan, where she also completed doctoral course work in botany.

During World War I, she was an assistant in the chemistry department at Kalamazoo College. At different times, Mrs. Steidtmann taught science in Indiana and Illinois.

Mrs. Steidtmann moved toBowling Green in 1936. She and her husband, Waldo Steidtmann, started a social club for international students at Bowling Green State University.

She was office manager for BGSU's Founders Hall until 1972, when she retired after 17 years of service.

Mr. Steidtmann died in 1955.

Mrs. Steidtmann was a founding member of the local chapter of the American Association of University Women; Alpha Chi Omega, and the Faculty Newcomers group at BGSU. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Bowling Green.

Surviving are her daughter, Sally Crawford; son, James Richard Steidtmann; six grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. today in Dunn Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to the Waldo E. and Evelyn Steidtmann Biology Scholarship Fund at BGSU.

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