Alvin Lee Blakeman, a retired Toledo Edison foreman who once owned a popular East Toledo bar, died in his sleep of unknown causes Sunday in the Henderson House assisted living facility.
He was 89.
He was an Edison employee for 35 years, working mostly in the Acme and Bayshore power plants. He retired in 1981 and bought the Music Box, a bar at Miami and Fassett streets.
“When he got his pension, he walked over to my mother and said, ‘I want to buy a bar,' ” his daughter, Marion Blakeman, said. “He always wanted to be a host. He remodeled the whole place.”
He brought in bands and had a board on which he recorded his customers' birthdays.
He also operated a pickup and delivery service for the crews of freighters docked on the Maumee River.
“It was a very homey bar,” his daughter said. He sold it after eight years, wanting to slow down.
Mr. Blakeman was born in Toledo, the second of Mary and Harold Blakeman's seven children, who were all boys. Upon graduation from eighth grade, he went to work, helping to support the family.
He enlisted in the Army after the Pearl Harbor attack and became a military policeman serving in France and Germany.
Before shipping out, he met his future wife, Dorothy, in San Antonio, where she was a civilian employee at his base.
It was love at first sight, and he didn't want to lose her after he left for Europe, so he had his grandmother send her an engagement ring.
They were married in 1945 and remained together until her death in 2007. As promised before they were married, he visited Texas with her every year to see her family.
Surviving are his daughter, Marion Blakeman; son, Daniel; brothers, Ed, Neil, Leo, and Floyd; six grandchildren, and a great-grandchild.
Services will be at 11 a.m. today in the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home, Maumee. The family suggests tributes to Henderson House.