Corrine C. Gauthier, 82, who decades after high school went to college and received a degree, died Jan. 9 in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township. She had cancer.
She retired in the late 1980s as a dietary supervisor at Toledo Hospital. She became a friend and mentor to her charges.
"Even being a supervisor, I don't think she felt so much the boss of these young people as a teacher, that she had a lot to share," her daughter Michelle Gauthier said.
Mrs. Gauthier was a homemaker during her marriage, while her husband, Frank, worked two jobs. Their two daughters were in college when he died in the 1970s.
"She knew she had to do something to be there for us. That's the kind of woman she was," Michelle said.
Mrs. Gauthier spent much of her life in the Polish-American neighborhood around Nebraska Avenue and Junction Street. She was a master of Polish and other ethnic dishes.
"There was always something on the stove cooking," her daughter said. "She knew that if she wanted to make the money it took to put two girls through school, she would have to get a degree. She took her love of cooking and went with it."
She was 50 when she received an associate's degree in food management from the University of Toledo.
"Her going back to school at that age renewed her youthful outlook on life," her daughter said. "She made quite a few friends and maintained those friends who were my age and my sister's age."
In retirement, Mrs. Gauthier was a volunteer grandparent through the former Medical College of Ohio Hospital.
The program "really struck a chord with her. [The parents] were mostly younger single sometimes unwed individuals. They really didn't have the emotional support of an older person, whether it was making sure these little ones had Christmas presents or the stroller they needed or somebody to watch them while their mother went to a class or appointment."
She also was a pastoral care volunteer at the hospital.
She was a graduate of the former Harriet Whitney Vocational High School and became a payroll specialist for Toledo Scale Co.
"She was a very independent woman, more modern than she should have been in her day," her daughter said. "She traveled a lot and experienced different adventures with her mother and friends and whoever could come along. She traveled Route 66 and explored the West when women weren't doing that."
She had been a member of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Charles Borromeo parishes.
Surviving are her daughters, Michelle Gauthier and Marlaine Gauthier.
Memorial services will be scheduled later. Arrangements are by the W.K. Sujkowski & Son Funeral Home.
The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio.