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Published: 4/28/2009

Ex-Blade ad director left to be a chaplain

Paul William Tovey, 91, a former advertising director at The Blade who retired early to devote time to chaplain duties at area hospitals, died Friday in the Foundation Park Care Center. The cause of death was not immediately known.

A Waite High graduate, Mr. Tovey was born in Toledo and spent most of his life in the city. He lived for about 15 years in Archbold, Ohio, when his wife, Echo Royal, was a resident of a nursing care facility there. She died in 1998; the couple were married about 60 years.

Mr. Tovey, a Marine, was trained and ready to serve in World War II, but "then the war ended," daughter Karen Vollmer said. During his time in the Marines, he trained soldiers on the rifle range, she said.

After the war, he returned to Toledo, looking for a job.

Mr. Tovey started in the newspaper business as an advertising department messenger. "He would run proofs to the advertisers, a copy of what they wanted to run, and would get the OK and would run them back into The Blade," his daughter said.

"He was a hard worker," she said. "He just started out and worked his way up."

Mr. Tovey was a salesman in retail advertising, then was retail advertising manager. He later was promoted to advertising director.

Lee Gagle, who was The Blade's retail advertising manager when Mr. Tovey was advertising director, said Mr. Tovey had a strong sense of what a newspaper advertising salesman should do.

"He saw the need to bring in outside training, and he did that very well," Mr. Gagle said.

Under Mr. Tovey's direction, The Blade conducted training seminars and various conferences.

In 1979, Mr. Tovey retired "so he could devote his full attention to the church," his daughter said.

Trained as a lay pastor, he took additional training to become a chaplain at local hospitals.

"He really enjoyed that work. It was a really big part of his life. He did a really good job calling on people who were sick and in need of a little bit of comfort, a little bit of help," she said.

A longtime member of Monroe Street United Methodist Church, Mr. Tovey was active in community organizations including United Way and the Big Brothers program, his daughter said.

Mr. Tovey also taught Sunday School for many years.

He is survived by his daughters, Janice Roberts and Karen Vollmer, brother, Duane, and four grandchildren.

Visitation will be after 2 p.m. tomorrow in the Walker Funeral Home, 5155 West Sylvania Ave., where services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The family suggests tributes to Monroe Street United Methodist Church, the Alzheimer's Association, or Hospice of Northwest Ohio.



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