Edwin E. Martin, 82, longtime chief executive officer of the Louisville Title Agency, died Thursday at his home on Gleneagles Road in Perrysburg Township.
His son, John W. Martin, president of the title agency, said Mr. Martin was diagnosed with cancer four years ago. He worked until about two months ago, when he went under hospice care.
"He was a hard-working entrepreneur," the younger Mr. Martin said. "He worked his tail off."
He said his father, an Army officer in World War II and the Korean War, put himself through law school at the University of Toledo, getting his law degree in 1961.
Mr. Martin worked 15 years for Port Lawrence Title & Trust Co. In 1955, he became a partner in the Louisville Title firm that was six years old at the time. He took over ownership of the agency in 1972.
"He was one of the most gracious men I ever met," said Jerome Parker, a Toledo lawyer and longtime friend. "With Ed, his word was as good as gold. He was a thoughtful man. If you had a problem, he'd be one of the first to call you. He was a consummate businessman."
Larry Boyer, a senior vice president at Fifth Third Bank (Northwestern Ohio), said Mr. Martin built a massive data bank at Louisville Title, including records going back more than a century and a half.
"That was very important, especially to people buying big parcels of land," Mr. Boyer said. "He was very personable. Ed knew a ton of people, and you knew he would make sure any glitches would be worked out."
Mr. Martin belonged to the American Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association, Toledo Bar Association, Inverness Club, Toledo Club, and Press Club of Toledo.
Surviving are his wife, Carole; sons, John Martin and Robert Tschirret; daughters, Susan Snow, Linda Miller, Kathy Rose Santry, and Michelle Chester, and 16 grandchildren.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg, where visitation begins at 2 p.m. Monday.
The family suggests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio.