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Published: Friday, 2/22/2008

WW II vet kept selling insurance until age 95

OAK HARBOR, Ohio - William W. Druckenmiller, 97, who sold insurance from the Great Depression, when he developed an agency here, until about two years ago, died Wednesday in Stein Hospice Care Center, Sandusky, from complications of heart-related problems.

He formed Druckenmiller Insurance Agency in 1936. His son Paul joined him in the business in 1977 and had bought the agency by the early 1990s.

Mr. Druckenmiller, though, came to the office daily until he was about 95.

"He loved visiting and dealing with people," his son said. "There was a satisfaction in trying to solve people's problems and helping them with their needs."

Mr. Druckenmiller was born in Sandusky County's Rice Township. The family moved to a farm in Ottawa County's Salem Township, where he grew up. He was a 1929 graduate of what is now Oak Harbor High School.

He became a salesman for Rawleigh Products and, in farm country near Bowling Green, he peddled the company's remedies, ointments, salves, and spices door-to-door.

His insurance business was born when he visited the Columbus offices of State Auto, an insurance company. He got a territory around Bowling Green and later opened his office in Oak Harbor.

During Army service in World War II, he was a captain and commanded an anti-tank company in Europe called "Old Hickory."

He wrote a book about his wartime experiences, Old Hickory, which he finished in 2005 and his family published. He was wounded twice in action and received a Silver Star and Purple Heart.

He was a past president of the Oak Harbor Rotary Club, of which he was a charter member, and of the Ottawa County Independent Insurance Agents Association. He was a past commander of American Legion Post 114 and was a member of VFW Post 8732, both in Oak Harbor.

He was a longtime member of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Oak Harbor, where he sang in the senior choir.

Surviving are his wife, Frances Druckenmiller, whom he married Oct. 19, 1946; sons, David and Paul Druckenmiller; six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. tomorrow in St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Oak Harbor, where the family will receive friends after 10 a.m. Arrangements are by the Crosser Funeral Home, Oak Harbor.

The family suggests tributes to the choir fund or the endowment trust fund of the church or to Stein Hospice, Sandusky.

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