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Published: Sunday, 5/1/2005

Woman operated grocery stores with her husband

Grace Weiss, 88, who for many years helped her husband, Sam, run the family grocery stores, died Friday in hospice care at Lake Park, Sylvania.

The cause was complications from a fall at home in March, her daughter Wendy Speiser said.

Mrs. Weiss, formerly of the Old Orchard neighborhood in West Toledo, learned the business world at a young age. She was in advertising sales at the former Toledo News-Bee, where she worked after graduating from Scott High School.

"Her dad died very early," her daughter said. "She was very bright and didn't get to go to college because she had to support the family."

After she and Sam Weiss married, they had their first grocery store on City Park Avenue. A store they opened later at Monroe Street and Auburn Avenue featured a soda fountain. Their last store was the Beer Dock on Huron Street in North Toledo, where the couple worked until the 1970s.

"My mother helped my dad run [the stores]. They worked side by side forever," their daughter said.

"She was a very astute woman. She liked the people and she made friends with the people. Some of them who are left still called and talked to her."

Mrs. Weiss enjoyed creative pursuits. She was a writer.

She was a talented seamstress and liked to cook and bake. Hungarian desserts were her speciality.

She was a former woman of the year at Congregation Etz Chayim, of which she was a member. She was a member of the Old Newsboys Goodfellow Association.

"She was just a real strong woman with her own values and ideas," her daughter said.

Mrs. Weiss and her husband were married for more than 50 years. He died July 15, 1994.

Surviving are her son, Merle Weiss; daughter, Wendy Speiser and Janice Kardonsky; brother, Walter Frey; six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Services will be at noon tomorrow in the Robert H. Wick/Wisniewski Funeral Home followed by interment at Eagle Point Cemetery, Rossford. After, the family will receive friends at the Springfield Township home of Wendy and Joel Speiser.

The family suggests tributes to Congregation Etz Chayim and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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