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Published: Saturday, 12/11/2004

Sandusky teacher developed historic downtown building

SANDUSKY - Anita Feick, a homemaker who developed one of Sandusky's biggest downtown-area buildings, died of pancreatic cancer on Wednesday in her home. She was 84.

Mrs. Feick's family bought the former Engels & Krudwig Winery Building at 224 East Water St. in 1970.

The huge 1863 limestone building two blocks from downtown was converted into a apartment complex with a mall and reconstituted winery on the main floors and a bar in the basement.

When purchased, the building still had full kegs of wine as well as coffee mugs on the desks from its last occupants a decade before. Mrs. Feick sold some of the kegs to California wineries.

Mrs. Feick, who had an art education degree from Ohio State University, designed the apartments and other areas of the structure. Her husband, Edward, did the renovation work.

"This was her vision, her project," her daughter, Elizabeth Wilber, said. "Dad was the builder, but she chose it, designed the apartments."

The effort would land her on the Downtown Sandusky Association Board, where she put her art talents to use envisioning new facades for the downtown area and working to attract new business.

"You mention things, and if it happens, it happens. My mother, one thing she had was opinions," Ms. Wilber said. "Being an artist, she had all kinds of opinions: 'Oh this building's ugly, let's clean that up.'‚óŹ"

"After 80 years in Sandusky, she'd seen everything, but wanted to see more," her daughter added.

Mrs. Feick, the daughter of Karl Martin, who was the owner of Gundlach Sheet Metal, was born and raised in Sandusky. She graduated from Sandusky High School in 1938 and Ohio State in 1943.

Upon returning home to Sandusky after college, Mrs. Feick became a full-time mother, raising six children. After most of them had left home, she began teaching art and music in the Sandusky school system.

Mrs. Feick served on the Sandusky Recreation Board, overseeing summer park programs for children.

She became very involved in genealogy, traveling to Germany six times and writing three books on her and her husband's families, each cataloged with the Library of Congress.

Mrs. Feick was a deacon, trustee, and elder at First Presbyterian Church in Sandusky, a past president of the Presbyterian Women's Association and the College Women's Club, and a member of the United Ladies Sewing Circle, started by her great-grandmother-in-law, and the Ohio State Genealogy Society.

Surviving are her husband, Edward L. Feick; sons, Ed, John, and Carl; daughters, Mary Baughman, Elizabeth Wilber, and Barbara Gregory, and 13 grandchildren.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Dec. 18 at First Presbyterian Church in Sandusky. There will be no visitation. The Groff Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

The family suggests tributes to First Presbyterian Church or to cancer research.

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