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Published: Monday, 7/31/2006

Meat market co-owner 'best baker on Earth'

PEMBERVILLE - Irene E. Molnar, a former meat market owner who loved gardening, baking Hungarian pastries, and spending time with her family, died Thursday at Otterbein Valley Retirement Village in Pemberville. She was 86.

Mrs. Molnar, an outgoing and active woman all her life, was pulling weeds and working in the garden just before she was hospitalized for a toe infection on June 27, according to her daughter, Fran Johnson of Dimondale, Mich. The infection led to a number of health complications with the likely cause of death being kidney failure, Mrs. Johnson said.

A graduate of Waite High School, Mrs. Molnar and her late husband, Emery James Molnar, grew up next door to each other, their daughter said. The couple married on May 19, 1941, and were co-owners of Molnar's Hunk and Chunk Meat Market on Pemberville Road in Millbury. Mr. Molnar died in 1995.

"My mother was very outgoing," Mrs. Johnson said. "She was friendly to everyone, no matter their race, color, or creed. She had a great sense of humor and liked to laugh."

Mrs. Molnar began working at the meat market, which was founded by Mr. Molnar's father, before she was married. After World War II, the couple began taking over from Mr. Molnar's parents and ran the store for 50 years until it closed in 1996.

Mrs. Molnar loved to bake pies and pastries to share with her family, her daughter said.

"She was the best baker on Earth, especially Hungarian pastries," Mrs. Johnson said.

Mrs. Molnar never learned to drive, and attended Mass regularly at St. Jerome Catholic Church in Walbridge.

Surviving are sons, Emery "Butch" Molnar and Danny Molnar, both of Northwood; daughter Fran Johnson of Dimondale, Mich.; 11 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

Services will begin at 10 a.m. today in St. Jerome Catholic Church, 300 Warner St., Walbridge. Arrangements are by Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Walbridge. The family suggests tributes to a charity of the donor's choice.

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