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Published: Sunday, 11/28/2004

Veteran teacher had a great gift for storytelling

Donelda "Dee" Fleck, who taught at Central Elementary in Sylvania for 30 years, died yesterday at Lake Park Comfort Care. She was 74.

The family did not know the cause of death. She had brain cancer, her daughter Carol Kopfmann said.

Mrs. Fleck, who taught second grade for many years before moving to third grade, came from a long line of teachers.

She had a great gift for storytelling, doing voices in different accents and volumes from soft to booming.

"Every story she read aloud came to life," said Julie Kern, who taught third grade with her for 12 years.

She mesmerized her students with the variety of voices she could do, Mrs. Kern said.

"She would go from a Southern accent to Russian to a man to a woman," she said.

Even after she retired, the school asked her to come in and read for Book Night. She also read in the book department at Media Play.

Her skill at storytelling led her to read newspapers for the Sight Center Audio Network, a radio service for the visually impaired.

She loved social studies and tied local history into what she taught in school, Mrs. Kern said.

She was respected by the other teachers and always willing to help them, Mrs. Kern said.

Mrs. Fleck was born Oct. 13, 1930, in Mark Center, Ohio. She graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1952 and married Norman Lee Fleck, also a BGSU alumnus, that June. He died in 1994.

She was a member of the BGSU Presidents Club, the Falcon Club, and the Alumni Association.

She had season tickets to BGSU football and hockey games and also went to basketball games, her son, Jon Fleck, said.

She was a member of McCord Road Christian Church, where she served on the church council and was the first female elder.

She was a 50-year member of the Order of the Eastern Star.

Surviving are her daughters, Carol Kopfmann and Jane Fleck; sons, Kevin and Jon Fleck; sister, Pat Rensberger; and brothers, Delmar and John Core.

The body will be in the Reeb Funeral Home after 3 p.m. tomorrow with an Eastern Star service at 7:30 p.m.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at McCord Road Christian Church.

The family suggests tributes to the Ohio Eastern Star Home at Mount Vernon, the church, Bowling Green State University, or Visiting Nurse Hospice and Home Health Care.



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