Deanna "Dee" Radeloff, 69, a retired professor and head of applied human ecology at Bowling Green State University who brought her leadership brio to the cultural and community stage, died Wednesday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township, of carcinoid cancer.
A breast cancer survivor, she dealt with other health problems in recent years, her husband, Roger, said.
The week before she died, she scheduled a Toledo Museum of Art Ambassadors meeting at her Perrysburg Township home, said Lori Paton, a friend and fellow member of the Museum Ambassadors and the Country Garden Club in Perrysburg.
"She was always upbeat," Mrs. Paton said. "Every day was a good day for Deanna. That was her motto.
"She was a real community person and gave a lot to Toledo," Mrs. Paton said.
Mrs. Radeloff was 2009 president of the Museum Ambassadors, which offers the museum fund-raising and other support, and had been chairman of the Country Garden Club's trunk show, which raises money for community planting projects.
"She had the capability of dealing with people and had the charisma about her," her husband said. "She was a leader."
Mrs. Radeloff retired in 1991 after a nearly 20-year career at BGSU, where she was chairman of applied human ecology, formerly home economics. Inspired by two relatives who taught home economics, she received her bachelor's degree in the field from BGSU.
She had a particular interest in early childhood education. She received a master's degree from Ohio State University and an educational specialist degree from the University of Toledo.
She attained her ultimate goal, her husband said: a doctorate from the University of Michigan.
One of the books she co-authored, Experiences in Math for Young Children, addressed teachers and parents on how to give children a sense of math beyond rote counting by letting them help measure flour or water or set the table or quarter fruit.
She was coordinator of a seminar program for the Toledo schools, in which she counseled parents on how to balance home and work. She even offered tips on holiday gift buying: A child will find more meaning in a stuffed animal that lasts the years or a board game that brings the family together than in a high-tech or interactive toy.
"We can't buy love with superficial, expensive toys," Mrs. Radeloff told The Blade in 1987. "Toys are not what children want in the long run. They want time with parents. They want people who will listen to them."
After leaving BGSU, she supervised student teachers at Florida International University and, at Barry University, Miami Shores, Fla., helped start a program that let elementary teachers do graduate work on weekends.
In the mid-1990s, she developed a beauty color analysis system, Color Concept 7, to help women match colors to their skin tone, eyes, hair, makeup, and wardrobe. She marketed her system on the cable shopping channel QVC.
"I've always had an eye for color, and I loved to coordinate fashions," she told The Blade in 1995.
She was a member of Zoar Lutheran Church, where she had been director of Christian education. She was a member of Belmont Country Club, where she liked to golf. She and her husband liked boating on the Great Lakes as well.
She was born Sept. 18, 1940, in Gibsonburg, Ohio, to Geraldine and John Bolfa. She was a graduate of Lake High School.
Surviving are her husband, Roger, whom she married June 13, 1964; sons, Brentley and Kean Radeloff; brother, Douglas Bolfa; sister, Linda Bahler, and two grandchildren.
Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in Zoar Lutheran Church, Perrysburg. Arrangements are by the March Funeral Home, Luckey, Ohio.
The family suggests tributes to the Deanna Radeloff Scholarship at BGSU, the Toledo Museum of Art, or the church.
Contact Mark Zaborney at:
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