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Published: Monday, 2/8/2010

Family bakery bookkeeper loved to cook

BY JIM SIELICKI
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Margaret R. Weiss, 94, a storyteller, passionate cook, and bookkeeper for the family's bakery, died Thursday at Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg.

Her son, Fred Weiss, said she died of heart failure.

Mrs. Weiss worked the business side of the Schauss Bakeries, which had 14 locations in Toledo before she and her husband sold the firm. Her husband, Henry F. Weiss, handled baking operations, Fred Weiss said.

Henry Weiss, who died in 1991, did not have a monopoly on baking or cooking.

Mrs. Weiss was beloved for her baking, particularly during holidays and for a cookbook she compiled in 1978.

Marsha Schroeder said her aunt was adept at making a wide range of dishes, especially salads.

"She had so many food dishes and desserts," she said.

Her passion for cooking was especially evident during Christmas.

"She had a whole room devoted to cookies that she'd bake. It was a major production, but it was always done with love. Always," her niece said.

Mrs. Weiss was born May 10, 1915, in Curtice, Ohio. The former Margaret Schroeder met Henry Weiss while she was working for Enterprise Roofing in Toledo. He was not employed there, but the two became acquainted after she saw him walking outside and asked the owner to introduce her to him.

"It was almost a random meeting," Fred Weiss said. His parents were married more than 50 years, he said.

Henry Weiss was born in Germany and arrived in Toledo in 1935, when he worked for the family-run Schauss Bakeries.

In a 1947 interview with The Blade, he said he'd received permission to emigrate from Nazi Germany just days before he was called up for service in the army.

The couple sold the bakery in 1964 to Gladieux Corp., and she went to work for L.E. Smith as bookkeeper for 10 years, until her retirement.

Using her husband's background, Mrs. Weiss imported a wafer press machine from Germany to bake Zint waffles. The German machine became so popular in the Weiss household that Mrs. Weiss imported two more for her two grandsons, Fred Weiss said.

Mrs. Weiss loved to regale friends with stories and jokes.

"Everyone you meet will tell you she always had a story to tell," Fred Weiss said. She was held in such regard as a storyteller that a member of her church, Hope United Methodist, collected some, he said.

After retirement, Mrs. Weiss continued to be involved in her church, where she taught vacation Bible school and Sunday school for adults, even into her 90s, Fred Weiss said.

At the time of her death, she was the oldest member of the church.

Her son, Fred, said her goal toward the end of her life was to see her second great-granddaughter born, which occurred the day before she died.

Mrs. Weiss is survived by her son, Fred Weiss; two grandsons, and two great-granddaughters.

The funeral is at 11 a.m. today at Reeb Funeral Home, Sylvania, with burial in Toledo Memorial Park.

The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio or Hope United Methodist Church.



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