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Published: Sunday, 2/20/2005

Food wholesaler was Mud Hens fan

Bertha "Bobbye" Fink, 87, who with her husband, Jerry, operated a food wholesale business that supplied restaurants and hotels in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, died of cancer Friday in St. Anne Mercy Hospital.

Fink's Fine Foods began in 1951 at 2 North Huron St. - now Fifth Third Field. Mr. Fink was the president. Mrs. Fink was the vice president and oversaw administration.

"She was a real go-getter," her son Philip said. "She was raising three children and helping with the business and taking care of the house. There probably aren't a lot of people who could do it, but she did."

Large-scale food wholesalers - and national restaurant chains - were not common then.

"At one time, there were 100 restaurants in downtown Toledo, and they were privately owned. A lot of them were with ethnic backgrounds," her son said. "It was easier for a small wholesaler to service a small restaurant.

The Finks moved to 3040 Hill Ave. in 1976 and sold the business in 1981. Afterward, she sold shoes for several years at a store in the then-Franklin Park Mall.

She and sons Philip and Matthew made a point of attending Mud Hens games several times a season since the team moved to downtown Toledo in 2002.

Mrs. Fink, of Sylvania Township, grew up on Franklin Avenue and was a graduate of Scott High School. For more than 60 years thereafter, she and a group of high school friends got together on Friday nights.

She sold shoes for Lamson Bros. Co. Department Store after high school and worked during World War II preparing medical supplies for shipment overseas.

Mrs. Fink was a member of Congregation B'nai Israel and the Pioneer Women. She liked to bowl and belonged to the Ladies B'nai B'rith League.

She was a volunteer at Toledo Children's Hospital.

She liked to travel - Caribbean cruises and Las Vegas were favorites - and to meet new people, son Philip said.

She and her husband married June 1, 1947. He died Aug. 11, 1985.

Surviving are her sons, Philip and Matthew Fink; daughter, Brenda Franklin, and sisters, Rose Maldowski and Rita Wexler.

Services will be at 12:30 p.m. today in Beth Shalom Cemetery, Oregon. Arrangements are by the Robert H. Wick/Wisniewski Mortuary.

The family suggests tributes to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Northwest Ohio.



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