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Published: Friday, 2/23/2007

Volunteer leader helped charities

Dolores "Dee" Saunders, 70, a longtime Oregon resident who was a volunteer leader in charitable and church groups, died Wednesday in the Swan Creek Retirement Village from complications of cancer.

She had ovarian cancer about five years and went through two surgeries and through chemotherapy twice, her husband, Donald, said

"I was amazed that she was able to retain such a positive attitude," said Mr. Saunders, a former president of Toledo Edison and a former city of Toledo finance director. "Her whole life she was active and engaged and wanting to give to the community, and that carried through to the end."

She received the Gift of Giving Award in 2002 from the St. Charles Mercy Hospital Foundation. She was active for many years on the foundation's annual Crystal Ball and golf outing committees.

She was president of the hospital's auxiliary from 1996 to 1999.

"The depth of her involvement just continued to grow," her husband said. "It all started in a sense of commitment and dedication and a sense of satisfaction that was hers because of the work done and the results achieved."

Mrs. Saunders grew up near Starr Avenue and Oak Street in East Toledo and was a lifelong member of Eastminster United Presbyterian Church. She was an elder and a member of the board of deacons. She taught Sunday school and sang in the choir. She was a former president and circle leader of the Presbyterian Women's Association.

She was a graduate of Libbey High School, where her father was an assistant principal and athletic director. He was inducted posthumously into the Libbey hall of fame in 2004.

She attended the University of Toledo, where she met her husband, and was active in the alumni association.

Surviving are her husband, Donald Saunders, whom she married Jan. 4, 1958; sons, Scott and Glenn; daughters, Laura Kowalec and Ellen Daniel; eight grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.

The body will be in the Eggleston Meinert Pavley Funeral Home in Oregon after 2 p.m. today. Memorial services will be at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow in Eastminster United Presbyterian Church in East Toledo.

The family suggests tributes to the church; St. Charles Mercy Hospital Foundation; Swan Creek Retirement Village, or the Hospice of Northwest Ohio.

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