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Published: Thursday, 10/20/2005

Woman became pioneer as attorney in Napoleon

NAPOLEON - Marvelyn Regina Genuit, 81, a retired lawyer who practiced civil law in northwest Ohio for many years, starting at the time when female lawyers were rare, died Tuesday in Henry County Hospital of apparent congestive heart failure.

Miss Genuit, who graduated with honors from the University of Toledo college of law in 1956, practiced in the Napoleon area from the late 1950s until 1985, when she retired.

She was a partner with various law firms and had a practice of her own.

"She was always ambitious and energetic," her sister-in-law, Helen Genuit, said. "And she was always very interested in politics."

A native of the Hamler, Ohio, area, Miss Genuit began thinking about a lawyer's career while in high school. She graduated from Napoleon High School in 1942 and became a legal secretary at the Henry County Prosecutor's Office.

Intrigued by her job, she delayed her ambition. But it was always in the back of her mind, and she eventually decided to become a lawyer, Miss Genuit told The Blade in an interview in 1959, a year after she passed the bar examination.

That was about the time she began practicing law in Napoleon, becoming the third female lawyer there.

As a young woman, Miss Genuit's hobbies included amateur theatricals. In retirement, she enjoyed writing poetry. She was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Napoleon.

Surviving is her brother, Luther Genuit.

There will be no visitation. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in St. Paul Lutheran Church, Napoleon. Arrangements are by Snyder Wesche Funeral Home, Napoleon.

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