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Published: Friday, 3/19/2010

Woman taught kindergarten for 4 decades

Jean P. Binkley, 75, who taught kindergarten at the former Grove Patterson School in West Toledo for a decade into the mid-1960s, died Sunday at Doctors Hospital of Sarasota in Florida.

The cause was lung cancer, her brother, Jack Peters, said.

A native Toledoan, the former Jean Peters was the oldest of two children of Audrey and John Peters. Her father was a tool-and-die maker, and Ms. Binkley and her brother grew up in the family's home on Berkshire Place in West Toledo.

An athletic and mild-mannered child who enjoyed baby-sitting as a teen, she attended Longfellow Elementary and later the former DeVilbiss High School, where she graduated in 1952.

Mr. Peters said his sister always loved children and decided to major in education at the University of Toledo. As an undergraduate, she worked as a student teacher at her old elementary school as well as Old Orchard Elementary School.

Upon graduation from UT in 1956, Ms. Binkley began a 42-year career teaching kindergarten, her brother said. She soon married William Binkley, also of Toledo.

Ms. Binkley taught at Grove Patterson until the mid-1960s, when her husband took a job in Indianapolis and she moved with him. She continued to teach in Indiana until retirement in the 1990s.

Through the years, she often returned to Toledo to visit family. During her summers off, she enjoyed traveling and spending time at Devil's Lake in Indiana. Her hobbies including gardening, reading, and playing with her dog, Beau.

In 1999, Ms. Binkley moved from Fishers, Ind., to Bradenton, Fla., the same year that she and Mr. Binkley divorced.

Her brother, Jack Peters, in her only immediate survivor.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. today in the Ansberg-West Funeral Home, 3000 Sylvania Ave. Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. tomorrow in the funeral home.

The family suggests tributes to a local Humane Society.

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