Peggy June McClure, a native Toledoan who founded Ancestor House Antiques on Tremainsville Road, died of heart failure Saturday at Toledo Hospital. She was 85.
The diminutive redhead got started in the antiques business primarily by buying estates. Mrs. McClure especially cherished fine jewelry, high-end costume jewelry, glass items, artwork, and porcelains, said her brother, Ted Powers.
"She, in her own right, was a walking encyclopedia of antiques and collectibles," said Mr. Powers, adding that she would buy paintings and have them restored.
"She was always happy when someone came in and liked something she did," he said.
Born July 11, 1923, to Bill and Helen Powers, Mrs. McClure was the oldest of four children. Her late parents ran a service station at 3540 Monroe St. for nearly 40 years.
Despite her small stature, Mrs. McClure was protective of her younger sisters, both of whom preceded her in death.
"She was fearless," Mr. Powers recalled. "All the boys in the neighborhood gave her a wide berth."
In 1942, she eloped with Roy McClure, who was in the Navy, a few months before graduating from DeVilbiss High School. The McClures were married 55 years before his death.
The McClures had two children, the late Janet McClure, who died in a private plane crash in 1980, and Gary McClure of Toledo.
As Mr. McClure's real-estate business continued expanding and the children grew up and moved out on their own, Mrs. McClure opened Ancestor House in 1965 near its present 3148 Tremainsville location, Mr. Powers said.
"She just decided she wanted to get out of the house and start doing something," Mr. Powers said.
Mrs. McClure always was friendly with customers, who loved to hunt for treasures in the store, Mr. Powers said.
"She really enjoyed people," Mr. Powers said. "She never met a stranger."
After Mrs. McClure had a car accident and was unable to work in the antiques business, she passed Ancestor House onto Mr. Powers and his wife, Sheila, in 1981. They continue to own the store.
Mrs. McClure also supported various charities, including the Cherry Street Mission. She typically "adopted" a family or two for the holidays, providing them with food and gifts.
Surviving are her son, Gary McClure; her brother, Ted Powers; three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
The body will be in the Ansberg-West Funeral Home after
3 p.m. tomorrow. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the mortuary.
Tributes may be made to the Regina Coeli Angel Tree program or the Cherry Street Mission.
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