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Published: Saturday, 11/5/2005

Former principal championed the poor

LIMA, Ohio - Mary Margaret Averesch, 69, a retired principal of St. Gerard Elementary School in Lima, died Tuesday in the Beverly Healthcare Center here from complications of Alzheimer's disease.

Mrs. Averesch, who graduated from St. Rose High School in Lima and the former Mary Manse College in Toledo, was principal of St. Gerard from 1980 until retiring in 1996.

Prior to that, she taught music and religion at St. Rose and at St. Gerard.

In retirement, she taught music part-time for two years at St. Anthony of Padua School in Columbus Grove, Ohio.

"She was the champion of the underprivileged," her son Greg Averesch said. "She worked diligently to help the underprivileged who could not afford to go to a Catholic school get assistance so they could. ... She [also] took the troubled students under her wing."

Mrs. Averesch was a member of St. Gerard Catholic Church, Lima, the Serra Club, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 370 Auxiliary.

Surviving are her husband of nearly 49 years, Vince Averesch; sons, Mark "Randy" Averesch and Greg Averesch; daughter, Paula McPheron, and seven grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. today in St. Gerard Catholic Church. Arrangements are by the Hogencamp-Weber Funeral Home, Lima.

The family suggests tributes to the St. Gerard Elementary School Scholarship Fund.

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