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Published: Friday, 3/16/2007

Insurance exec backed civic, cultural causes

William H. Mauk, 95, a life insurance sales leader who supported cultural and civic causes, from the Toledo Symphony to the efforts of his wife, Betty, to improve public access to the Maumee River, died Tuesday of congestive heart failure in Kingston Care Center of Sylvania.

Formerly of Ottawa Hills, he and his wife moved to assisted living at Kingston on Jan. 8, the day after his birthday, daughter Becky Powell said.

Mr. Mauk retired formally around 1990, though he continued to advise friends in the business. "He loved what he did," his daughter said. "He was a very happy person with his life and the work he did. He was very fulfilled."

He became an agent of Aetna Life & Casualty Co. in 1939 and was associated with the Blosser & Hill Agency, later known as John A. Hill & Associates Agency and Hill & Carson.

He was consistently among Aetna's sales leaders nationwide. The Hill agency named him its man of the year for 1953. By 1976, the agency was called Bayer & Associates, and Mr. Mauk received its man of the year award for 1975.

"He got an awful lot of enjoyment in working with people and providing for their future security," his son Bill said. "He really cared about other people. He was always optimistic."

Mr. Mauk was a former president of the Toledo Association of Life Underwriters and the Toledo Chapter of Chartered Life Underwriters.

He was a former president of the Toledo Orchestra Association and, in the mid-1950s, helped the orchestra tackle a deficit by seeking additional business support.

In 1959, he became the first man to serve as a trustee of the Toledo District Nurse Association, known for its visiting nurse service. Four years later, he was elected the first male president.

His wife was a familiar figure as an advocate for preserving greenspace along the Maumee, which led to the creation of Promenade Park, and for the cleanup of Swan Creek through the group ClearWater Inc. She was a founder of the local Alliance Francaise. She challenged corporate and political leaders.

"He stood in the background and let her go," daughter Becky said.

"My dad was such a patient man. He just loved whatever my mom wanted to do," their daughter said. "My mom was the more feisty in the family, and he was supportive of whatever she wanted to do. They complemented each other perfectly."

Son Bill said: "Whatever people were involved with, he wanted to help, whether it was something he supported independently or through my mother's initiative in something important to the community.

The couple in the 1970s bought a boat christened Arawanna II and offered river rides to passengers from Promenade Park. She was devoted to anything French, and the couple took frequent trips to France. He grew to love the country as well.

"He loved traveling with her and adored her so much that anything she loved he loved," daughter Becky said.

Mr. Mauk was a 1930 graduate of Scott High School and attended the University of Toledo. Early on, he worked for Mauk Lumber, which was owned by an uncle.

He was an Army captain in World War II and served in North Africa, Sicily, and France. His duties included providing medical supplies to the Third Infantry Division at the front.

Mr. Mauk liked to golf and was a member of Toledo Country Club.

"My father was very peaceful and kind to all people," daughter Becky said. "He was a gentle man."

Surviving are his wife, Betty, whom he married Oct. 18, 1941; sons, Bill and Blair; daughters, Catherine Mather and Becky Powell; seven grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters.

There will be no visitation. Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Toledo, where he was a past senior warden. Arrangements are by the Foth-Dorfmeyer Mortuary.

The family suggests tributes to Trinity Episcopal Church, the Toledo Museum of Art, or a charity of the donor's choice.



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