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Published: Wednesday, 10/28/2009

BGSU teacher was language, speech pioneer

BOWLING GREEN - Elizabeth A. Neidecker, 89, a retired professor and an early advocate for speech-language pathology programs in schools, died Monday in Blakely Care Center.

She had lupus and was in poor health, said Diane Pretzer, a friend for many years.

She retired in 1982 from Bowling Green State University, where for 20 years she trained those who would work in schools. She was best known in her field as co-author of a textbook, the 2001 edition of which was titled School Programs in Speech-Language Pathology: Organization and Service Delivery.

"Betty was quite a pioneer and was really considered ahead of her time," said Linda Petrosino, a former chairman of communication disorders, now dean of the college of health and human services at BGSU.

For three years in retirement, Miss Neidecker worked in the BGSU Center for Archival Collections.

She received a bachelor's degree from Ohio State University. She'd attended Wittenberg College and Indiana University. She received a master's degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Born June 3, 1920, in Port Clinton, she owned property for years near Lake Erie and, in 1995, wrote The Marblehead Lighthouse: Lake Erie's Eternal Flame.

She was active in the Canal Society of Ohio and donated material from the group spanning 28 years to the BGSU archival collections center.

She liked to golf and to play bridge.

"She had almost a bubbly personality," said Mrs. Pretzer, a retired BGSU romance languages professor.

She was quite social, said Lois Cheney, a retired theater and communications professor who was in the same bridge group. "I think she was happiest when she was entertaining and was with a group of friends."

There are no immediate survivors.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in the Neidecker, LeVeck & Crosser Funeral Home, Port Clinton, founded in 1872 by her great-grandfather, Peter Neidecker. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m.

Memorial tributes are suggested to the BGSU Foundation for scholarships in Miss Neidecker's name; St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Port Clinton; St. John Episcopal Church, Bowling Green, or the Ottawa County Historical Society.

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