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Published: Monday, 1/3/2005

Sandusky native helped build nearby township

SANDUSKY - August J. "Augie" Dee, a Perkins Township trustee in the 1950s and '60s, died Friday of a viral infection at Firelands Regional Medical Center. He was 92.

He had lymphoma, which impaired his immune system, his son Jim Dee said.

Mr. Dee, who served three terms as a trustee, saw the Erie County township grow and become more residential and commercial, his son, a former township trustee and Erie County commissioner, said.

"They have come a long way in a short time," he said. "My father was a part of that."

When the family moved to Perkins Township in 1939, it had fewer than 3,000 residents. The township, just south of Sandusky, now has a population of about 12,500.

Mr. Dee quickly became dedicated to his new community and was always trying to make it better.

"He was very active, very spirited, and he was really interested in the local township and the government," his son said.

In the late 1940s, he became a charter member of the township's first volunteer fire department.

"He liked the excitement. He liked the idea that he was doing something for the community," his son said.

After several years he wanted to become more involved in the township's affairs, so he quit the fire department and ran for office. He was elected to his first term as a trustee in 1951.

"They met in a garage and had one snowplow, two fire trucks, and 24 volunteers, and that was the extent of the government," his son said.

Mr. Dee was re-elected four years later. He was defeated in his next election but was later elected to a third term.

During his tenure the township faced growing pains from an increasing population. It created a police department and began to hire full-time firefighters.

"He was faced with a lot of problems in a growing community," his son said.

Mr. Dee remained interested in what was going on in the community for his whole life and would let the current officials know when something irritated him, his son said.

"He really thought he owed something to the community," he said.

Mr. Dee was born here Jan. 9, 1912, to Vincenzo and Anna DiDia, who were Italian immigrants. The family moved back to Italy briefly when Mr. Dee was very young. He went through 10th grade in the Sandusky schools.

In 1932, he married Gertrude Denslow. She died in 1981.

During World War II, Mr. Dee worked at a steel factory that was considered critical to the war effort. After the war, he worked for New Departure, retiring in 1977 as maintenance supervisor.

He enjoyed gardening and yard work. His lawn was the most neatly mowed one on the block and his shrubs the best-trimmed, his son said.

He was a member of Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, the Italian-American Beneficial Club, AMVETS, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Sandusky Orioles Club.

Surviving are his sons, James C. and Ronald J. Dee; sister, Aline Love; five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the David F. Koch Funeral Home from 4 to 8 p.m. today. Services will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow in Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church.

The family suggests tributes to the church.

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