Carol Richardson Drescher, 76, whose specialty was teaching the youngest of students at Maumee Valley Country Day School and in the Washington Local district, died Thursday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township.
She had a combination of health problems, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, her husband, Ralph Drescher, said. She also was a four-time cancer survivor.
Students knew her as Mrs. Richardson, her name from a previous marriage, and she retired in 2004 from the Washington Local's Monac Elementary, where she'd taught first and second grades. She continued to substitute teach there for another three years.
She was a teacher of the year in 1988 for the district. In 1998, the Teachers Association of Washington Local Schools presented her with the Outstanding Educator Award.
"She had a number of awards. That one was particularly gratifying," her husband said. "She was proud of the fact that she had all the experiences with young people."
In later years, she was teaching the children of earlier students, said Patty Weaver, a colleague at Monac.
"She knew quite a few families in the district," said Mrs. Weaver, for whom Mrs. Richardson was almost a second mother. "We were very good friends because we supported each other and learned from each other. She was a great gal."
She had a passion for teaching, and "it was more than the ABCs and the 1,2,3s," said Susan Richardson, her daughter-in-law and principal of St. Richard School, Swanton. "Sometimes they needed a mom and a shoulder to cry on. She had a big heart."
Mrs. Richardson of West Toledo was a building representative for the teachers association. She also helped organize a districtwide annual event to spotlight students' best work. She earlier taught fourth grade at the former Westwood School.
At the start of her career, she taught for a year in the Perrysburg district. Her alma mater, Maumee Valley Country Day School, recruited her to teach first grade, and she remained there for a decade.
"She loved the children, and she could see them learning and maturing, especially in the first grade," her husband said. "It's the first step."
She was born Dec. 26, 1933, to Christine and Everett L. Jones in Muskegon, Mich. She grew up in the Old West End of Toledo. She was a graduate of Bowling Green State University.
Surviving are her husband, Ralph Drescher, whom she married in June, 1962; son, Scott Richardson; brother, Everett L. Jones III, and two grandsons.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Walker Funeral Home, where the body will be after 4 p.m. tomorrow.
The family suggests tributes to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation or the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
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