Carl A. Sass, 76, a teacher, coach, and administrator in the Maumee City Schools over a 31-year career who made 15 trips to Guatemala in the last decade to help children and families in poverty, died Sunday in Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center from complications of a type of vasculitis.
Because of his illness, he lived the last three years in the Pineview Extended Care Center at Lutheran Village at Wolf Creek in Springfield Township.
He retired in 1989 after five years as assistant principal of Gateway Middle School.
"A standard line I use when a student is brought before me on a discipline matter and they think I'm mad at them is, 'It's not you I don't like, it is your behavior I don't like,'•" Mr. Sass told The Blade in 1989.
That was his Christian faith in action, his son Mark said.
"He was very nonjudgmental and had a heart of gold and not an ounce of guile in him," his son said.
He came out of retirement to serve as Gateway principal for a year in the 1990s. He arrived at the school in the early 1960s when it was Maumee Junior High School. He taught reading and English and for a decade headed the English department. He coached basketball and was director of Maumee summer school sessions.
He was hired by the district in 1958 as a sixth-grade teacher at Union School.
From about 2002-2007, he visited Guatemala 15 times through the Maumee Rotary Club and St. Paul's Lutheran Church, where he was a member. His missions included taking formula to a nursery located near a garbage dump and school supplies to girls abandoned by their families - to whom he was known as "papi."
"It was very satisfying to see improvements and get kids out of the dump and help these orphan girls who have been abandoned," his son said.
Born June 23, 1933, Mr. Sass grew up in East Toledo and was a graduate of the former Macomber Vocational High School. He was in the military and stationed in Alaska during the Korean War. He received bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Toledo.
He bowled for many years in the Lutheran Men's league and coached youth baseball.
He and his wife, Lois, married Aug. 4, 1956. She died July 20, 2000.
Surviving are his sons, Mark and Kyle; brother, Robert; sister, Doris Lezon, and three grandchildren.
Visitation will continue from 6 to 9 p.m. today in the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home, Maumee. Services will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Maumee.
The family suggest tributes to St. Paul's Guatemalan mission fund.