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Published: Monday, 10/4/2004

Woman co-owned grocery

Dorothy E. Adkins, 84, who helped manage a family grocery store and an apartment business in Toledo for 50 years, died Friday in her Maumee home. The family did not know the cause of death, said her son, John.

In 1949, Mrs. Adkins and her husband opened a grocery store, Adkins Market, on Douglas Road near West Sylvania Avenue in West Toledo. John Adkins said his parents sometimes worked until after midnight at the store.

On most days, Mrs. Adkins sent the children off to school and worked in the store until the afternoon. Her son said he and some of his seven siblings went to school about two blocks from the store, and would go to the store during their lunch hour.

Mrs. Adkins was the day manager of the store, which had a meat market, and did everything from stocking shelves to keeping the books.

"She enjoyed the business life," John Adkins said.

In the mid-1960s, they sold the store and bought a 15-unit apartment building on Douglas Road. They later bought some smaller apartment buildings.

Mrs. Adkins kept the financial records of the real estate business, Douglas Investments, and handled its daily operations. The Adkins family managed the apartments and did all the maintenance, John Adkins said.

Mrs. Adkins retired in 1999.

Mrs. Adkins, called "Tip" by her family and close friends, was born March 13, 1920, in Toledo. She graduated from DeVilbiss High School in 1937 and from business college in 1939.

Her husband, Walter R. Adkins, whom she married Oct. 12, 1940, died in 1995.

Mrs. Adkins belonged to two bridge clubs, and she and her husband were regulars at dance clubs. "They used to dress to the nines and go dancing," son Jim said.

Mrs. Adkins enjoyed travel. For her 80th birthday, one of her sons took her on a trip to Egypt, where she took a boat along the Nile River, saw the pyramids, and rode a camel.

Surviving are her daughters, Merrilee A. Zawadzki, Karen J. Turner, and Beth E. Meyers; sons, Thomas W., James M., Richard V., John F., and David R. Adkins; fifteen grandchildren; and twelve great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the Boyer-Van Wormer-Scott Funeral Home from 2 to 8 p.m. tomorrow. Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. The family suggests tributes to the Alzheimer's Association or the church.

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