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Published: Monday, 7/21/2008

Engineer owned building material companies

Frederick Moring, 84, an engineer who sold construction materials such as windows, church spires, and steeples that still can be found in several of Toledo's most prominent buildings, died Saturday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Toledo.

The cause of death was not known.

Mr. Moring sold building materials for 18 years before taking a job as technical director of the Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority, where he was eventually named superintendent of modernization.

He served in the housing authority for 17 years, until his retirement in 1985.

"He was doing things that were a combination of engineering and inventing - a lot of problem-solving and trying to improve the physical aspects of spaces," his daughter Carol Harper said.

Mr. Moring was first employed in 1950 as a manufacturer's representative with the F.L. Everitt Co.

In 1958, Mr. Moring and a friend, Bob Zeluff, established their own company, Moring-Zeluff Co. When Mr. Zeluff left the company in the mid 1960s, Mr. Moring set out on his own and founded Fred S. Moring Co. Both firms sold building materials.

"He had a very analytical mind," Ms. Harper said. "He was very good at seeing how things work and how things go together."

Mr. Moring graduated from Clay High School in 1941 and enlisted in the Army in December, 1942. He was a mechanic during World War II.

Mr. Moring played baseball with other men at a base where he was stationed in Colorado Springs. Mr. Moring was such a talented ballplayer that the Army asked him to re-enlist so he could continue playing, Ms. Harper said.

However, Mr. Moring declined the offer, and enrolled at the University of Toledo, where he studied mechanical engineering.

He married Rose Marilyn Bilang, whom he had met at a mutual friend's wedding, on Nov. 14, 1947.

One of Mrs. Moring's first memories of her husband was that, when they began dating, he was installing a motor in his car.

"He was always trying to figure out how to do things better," Mrs. Moring said.

After Mr. Moring retired he and his wife did some traveling, venturing as far as Alaska.

They then purchased a property on Lake Diane in Camden, Mich.

"He just loved going out there, where he could get out of the city, be in a beautiful setting, and enjoy the water and the countryside," Ms. Harper said.

Mr. Moring, an avid outdoorsman, enjoyed fishing and hunting. He particularly loved spending time with the several Springer spaniels and Labradors that he kept as hunting dogs.

His daughter Janet Moring recalled going rabbit hunting with her father when she was a girl.

"He never once shot the gun," Ms. Moring said. "It had to be the perfect shot because he would never just wound an animal."

Mr. Moring also liked playing euchre and bridge.

As a father, Mr. Moring was "caring but strict, because he wanted his kids to grow up right and do well," his daughter Ms. Harper said.

When his children had projects to do for school, Mr. Moring would spend hours teaching them how to make everything perfectly centered and neat.

"He really loved his family and was always there for us," Ms. Moring said.

Mr. Moring was also an extremely ethical man, Mrs. Moring said.

When one of the family's dogs got loose and tore up the neighbor's lawn, Mr. Moring personally resodded and replanted the grass.

"He was as honest as the day was long," Mrs. Moring said. "People took him at his word."

Surviving are his wife, Rose Marilyn Moring; daughters, Carol Harper and Janet Moring; son, Todd Moring; sister, Betty Rayburn; 10 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at Monroe Street United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. Saturday. The family suggests tributes to the Monroe Street United Methodist Church or Hospice of Northwest Ohio.



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