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Published: Thursday, 2/12/2009

Accountant mentored, shared his expertise

Gregory A. Hendel, 61, a certified public accountant who contributed his tax and planning expertise to charitable, civic, and service groups, died Monday in his Perrysburg Township home.

His death was a suicide caused by a gunshot wound in the chest, Dr. Douglas W. Hess, Wood County coroner, said.

Mr. Hendel's wife of more than 38 years, Sherry, died Feb. 18, 2008. A former teacher, she became a lawyer who specialized in estate planning. The couple often worked together.

"He missed his wife," said his sister, Barbara Hendel, society editor of The Blade. "They were so much together, it was like one person. They worked and played together. It's been really tough."

Mr. Hendel got his start while in college with the accounting firm of Peat, Marwick - what is now KPMG. In 1983, he became partner-in-charge of Peat, Marwick's Toledo tax department. He later had a similar role in the Detroit office.

After returning briefly to the Toledo office, he began his own firm, first in partnership with James Harris and, since 1995, with certified public accountant Lou Ann Zuchowski.

"He was a mentor," Mrs. Zuchowski said. "He was very well read and had a fantastic memory for detail, and he could recite Internal Revenue Service Code like you and I recite song passages."

Mr. Hendel was a director of the local estate planning council and was a member of other professional organizations.

By appointment of then-Gov. George Voinovich, he was a member from 1993-2003 of the Ohio Jobs Credit Council and served as vice chairman. He was a director of Blissfield Manufacturing Co. and was on the audit and corporate responsibility committee of Mercy Health Partners' northern region.

He was a former president of the Bowling Green State University Foundation.

He was a former director and treasurer of Camp Courageous and of the Black Swamp Conservancy and a member of the Maumee Rotary Club and served on the board of its foundation. He was a member of the Exchange and Rotary clubs in Perrysburg.

An Eagle Scout, he was on the board of the Erie Shores Boy Scout Council, of which he was a former president and treasurer.

Mr. Hendel was a 1965 graduate of Perrysburg High School. On the same June weekend in 1969, he received his bachelor's degree in business administration from BGSU; received his commission in the Army, and was married. He received a master's degree from BGSU in 1970.

A lieutenant in the Army, he served in South Korea.

Mr. Hendel was a member of Zoar Lutheran Church and was chairman of its foundation.

He was a former president of Belmont Country Club.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Rebecca.

Surviving are his mother, Carol; brother, Douglas, and sister, Barbara Hendel.

The family will receive friends from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday in the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg, where a Rotary service will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Zoar Lutheran Church, Perrysburg, where visitation begins at 10 a.m. Monday.

The family suggests tributes to the Scouting Heritage Fund at the Toledo Community Foundation; Maumee Rotary Foundation; Perrysburg Exchange Club, or Zoar Lutheran Church Foundation.



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