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Published: Wednesday, 4/29/2009

Businessman ran company founded by grandfather

Stephen R. Krauser, 70, who like his father was chairman and an owner of Ohio Table Pad Co., died Monday of an apparent heart attack in his South Toledo home.

"He's gone through a lot in his life," his daughter Debbie Eaton said. "He's been cancer-free for 17 years, had a triple bypass and a hip replacement, and he's done very, very well."

His family got together to celebrate his 70th birthday last month. He'd just returned from a golf outing with friends to North Carolina, and "we gave him a big old golf bag," his daughter said.

He retired in 2007 from Ohio Table Pad, which moved to Perrysburg in 2000 from its longtime Nebraska Avenue headquarters. He and his brother, Chris, sold the firm in 2006. His brother remains as president.

"When you run a business, you're providing employment. You're providing quality products," his brother said. "And we made an awful lot of table pads in our careers, and we made a lot of people happy.

"He was not easy to rattle," his brother said. "He really had a great sense of how to look at issues calmly and resolve those issues. He called on accounts all over the country and had the ability to connect with people."

Mr. Krauser was a University of Toledo business graduate in 1963 when his father, Stanley, wooed him to join Ohio Table Pad. The wholesale firm at one time made its custom furniture coverings at four plants. His responsibilities included overseeing quality control in Toledo; running the former Lawrenceville, Ga., plant; sales, and product development.

The firm was founded by his maternal grandfather in 1923. He succeeded his father as president in 1972 and became board chairman this decade, his brother said. Their father died in 1987.

Mr. Krauser attended Catholic Central High School his freshman and sophomore years. He was a member of St. Francis de Sales High School's first graduating class in 1958. He played football and basketball and took part in track and field at both schools.

He was a frequent golfer and a member of the Toledo Country Club. He had grandchildren in Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois, and "came to all their sporting events," his daughter said. "It was very important to him."

Surviving are his wife, Sharon, whom he married Sept. 8, 1962, daughters Debbie Eaton and Missy Katsafanas, son, Steve Krauser, Jr., brother, Chris Krauser, sisters Gerry Crouse and Margie Krauser, and five grandchildren.

The body will be in the Coyle Funeral Home after 2 p.m. tomorrow, with a Scripture service scheduled for 8:30 p.m. tomorrow in the mortuary.

The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Friday in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, where he was a member.

The family suggests tributes to the scholarship fund of St. Francis de Sales High School.



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