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Published: Thursday, 1/13/2005

Philanthropy, travel were woman's loves

WAUSEON - Dorothy B. Biddle, 106, who drove her own car past the age of 100 and danced the flamenco in Barcelona at the age of 102, died yesterday in Fulton Manor. She recently fell at home and broke a hip.

Mrs. Biddle was a philanthropist who supported an array of recreational and cultural programs in the Wauseon area.

She arranged to donate more than $1.25 million about a year ago that will go a long way toward developing a 73-acre park in Wauseon. It will include a dozen baseball fields, T-ball fields, soccer fields, basketball courts, and a practice football field. The park will be called the Dorothy B. Biddle Park.

Mrs Biddle, whose husband, Clark, a prominent dairy farmer for many years, established college scholarships a decade ago for 4-H members studying to become teachers and pursuing careers in science, agriculture, or health-related occupations.

She also supported the renovation of the Fayette Opera House and supported other cultural programs, including the Fulton County Historical Society.

Born in an apartment above a variety store operated by her parents in downtown Wauseon, Mrs. Biddle was the great-granddaughter of Nathaniel Leggett, an early founder of the city.

After graduating in 1916 from Wauseon High School, she started work the next day at People's Savings Bank.

After she married in 1922, she became a homemaker and farmer's wife, working alongside her husband caring for dairy cows, sheep, and hogs.

Mr. Biddle died in 1972, a month after they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They did not have children.

She had a wide circle of friends who liked to travel. She made several trips to the Holy Land and toured with members of the Fulton County Senior Center.

A two-week European trip several years ago included a cruise on the Mediterranean and a visit to Barcelona, where Mrs. Biddle danced the flamenco.

There are no survivors.

Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in Christ United Methodist Church. The body will be in the Edgar-Grisier Funeral Home after 2 p.m. today. It is suggested that tributes be to the Dorothy B. Biddle Park, Christ United Methodist Church, or the Fulton County Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star.


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