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Published: Thursday, 8/26/2010

Minnieruth Wagner, 1917-2010: Ohio deputy registrar served post 40 years

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Minnieruth Wagner, 93, who was affiliated with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles for 40 years and retired at age 85, died of congestive heart failure Tuesday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township.

Formerly of West Toledo, she lived at Darlington Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. She worked at the Miracle Mile agency when she called it a career, her son Bruce said.

"She was honest. That's why the state loved her," her son said. "Her books balanced, and all the reports were in on time."

Her husband was Harold Wagner, a Republican and Toledo city councilman. Agencies were plums of patronage then, and she became a deputy registrar in 1957 during a Republican administration. Michael V. DiSalle, a former Toledo mayor and a Democrat, became governor in 1959, and the agency went to a Democrat, but she remained an employee. The agency again was hers when Gov. James A. Rhodes took office.

"Minnieruth was the word in deputy registrars," said Sallee Kirk, an employee in the 1970s and a friend since. "She was wonderful to work for. She never raised her voice, but you would see the snap in her brown eyes and her lips would tighten. If she didn't like something, she would explain what we could do better, and you never questioned her because she was always right. She had ambition that wouldn't quit."

She was born Jan. 6, 1917, to Ruth and Harry Buschmann. She was a graduate of DeVilbiss High School. She was a member of the Eastern Stars and a former member of Pilgrim Congregational Church.

She and her husband married in 1936. He died Dec. 8, 1971.

Surviving are her sons, Peter and Bruce; brother, Duane Buschmann; six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Ansberg-West Funeral Home, where the body will be after 2 p.m. tomorrow.

The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio, the Alzheimer's Association, or a charity of the donor's choice.

Contact Mark Zaborney at:

mzaborney@theblade.com

or 419-724-6182.



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