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Published: 10/6/2004

Librarian a fixture at Maumee High

Marilyn Whitehead, a librarian at Maumee High School for three decades, died yesterday in Toledo Hospital from complications of cardiopulmonary disease. She was 79.

Mrs. Whitehead was hired as the librarian when the new Maumee High School building opened in 1961, her son, Randy, said.

"She enjoyed teaching, and she also enjoyed library work," and the job allowed her to combine the two, he said.

While at the school, she was an assistant tennis coach for one or two years and coached girls' varsity tennis for several years in the 1970s. One team won a Northern Lakes League championship, her son said.

She retired in 1992.

Mrs. Whitehead worked as a librarian in the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library system from the early 1950s, shortly after she moved to Toledo, until she became the school librarian, her son said.

She received a master's degree in library science from the University of Toledo in the mid-1970s.

Mrs. Whitehead was born in Detroit on May 30, 1925, to Charles and Ellen Whaite. She graduated from Detroit's Cooley High School and then attended the University of Michigan. She received a degree in political science in the late 1940s.

She taught history for a few years in Detroit, her son said.

Mr. Whitehead said his mother, who divorced when he was 2, handled adversity well.

"She raised me without benefit of a father in the home, and I never felt like I missed out," he said. "She was just a great lady."

Mrs. Whitehead played golf and was a former member of the Shadow Valley Tennis Club in Toledo.

"She enjoyed being active," her son said.

She also was an avid Detroit Tigers baseball and UM football fan and liked to watch her son and grandson play baseball.

Mrs. Whitehead traveled to Paris, England, and Greece and around the United States, her son said.

She liked reading, saw performances of Shakespeare at the Stratford Festival of Canada, and worked on her family's genealogy, her son said.

Mrs. Whitehead was an active member of the Sunshine Children's Home Auxiliary and a member of the alumni associations for UM and UT.

Surviving are her son, Randy; daughter, Susan Whitehead; brother, Jack Whaite, and a grandson.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday in the Walter Funeral Home, where visitation will begin at 2 p.m. Friday.

The family suggests tributes to the Sunshine Children's Home Foundation.



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