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Published: Saturday, 1/14/2006

Supermarket owner kept that personal touch

Charles A. Abood, 92, owner of a West Toledo supermarket for nearly 30 years who, though he d sold his business, continued to work for grocery stores until he was 89, died Friday in Kingston Residence of Sylvania.

He d been in declining health, family members said.

Mr. Abood, formerly of West Toledo, owned the Mayfair Super Market on Bennett Road from the early 1950s until 1980. He d worked earlier at his family s market on Monroe Street, and owned a small grocery on Woodville Road.

Supermarkets, unlike corner stores, allowed shoppers self service. Mr. Abood retained the personal touch. You had to go to the counter to buy the meats, his daughter, Patricia Branam, said.

Mayfair butchers made hand-stuffed kielbasa, and the store often sold more than 1,000 pounds for holidays.

He always had good butchers working there, said his son Charles, a former judge of the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals who worked at Mayfair as a teenager. Charlie just plain knew business.

He knew how to market groceries. He knew how to market meats, his son said. He knew the financial aspects of the business. But to him the most important thing was the people. People came from all around to that store, in large part because of him.

After Mr. Abood sold Mayfair, he expected to retire. But he was recruited by Maj. Gen. Walter A. Churchill, head of the local grocery chain, to work in the Byrne Road store s produce department.

When a national chain bought Churchill s, Mr. Abood was recruited to work at Sautter s 5-Star Market in Sylvania.

He fell when he was nearly 90 and retired.

Mr. Abood was born in Omaha, the son of immigrants from Lebanon. The family settled in North Toledo, and he was a graduate of Waite High School, where he played football.

He was in the Coast Guard during World War II and trained Marines at Camp Lejeune in the use of landing craft. He was a proud veteran and proud of his Lebanese heritage, his family said.

It was important to him that we be respectful of our roots, his daughter said.

He and his wife, Alice, were volunteers with the Arc of Lucas County. He was associated with the Lucas County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities.

The couple enjoyed world travel he was impressed especially with Greece and the Canadian Rockies and he liked to golf. The family had a cottage on Wamplers Lake, Mich., for many years.

This was a man who had such a complete zest for life, his daughter said. If he had a minute of life to life, he maximized it to the utmost.

He and his wife married May 30, 1942. She died Feb. 28, 2003.

Surviving are his sons, Charles D. and John Abood; daughter, Patricia Branam; sisters, Susan Abood and Barbara Neal; five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

The body will be in the Ansberg West Mortuary after 4 p.m. Wednesday. Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday in Trinity Episcopal Church, of which he was a member.

The family suggests tributes to the Charles and Alice Abood Memorial Fund of the Arc of Lucas County.



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