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Published: Friday, 1/28/2011

KENNETH W. BAME, 1921-2011: Findlay administrator also a business teacher

FINDLAY -- Kenneth W. Bame, a high school business teacher and Findlay assistant superintendent for business who kept the books for the organizations to which he belonged, died Wednesday in his residence at Birchaven Village from complications of a stroke he had Christmas week. He was 89.

Mr. Bame retired in 1980 from the Findlay City Schools, where for 13 years he was assistant superintendent. He oversaw finances and played a role as the district figured out how to pay for construction projects during a turbulent time of inflation and energy crisis.

He also took part in hiring, from support staff to principals. His children would hear, "Your dad hired me to work in the schools," his daughter Becky said. Recently at brunch, Mr. Bame was greeted by a man he'd hired as an elementary school janitor.

"He knew everybody," his daughter Denise said. "He was an intelligent man, and people respected the fact he was an intelligent man and still cared about people."

From 1956 to 1967, he taught business courses at Findlay High School.

"He loved it when students would come up to him and say, 'I had you for bookkeeping and now I have this job,' or 'You inspired me to go to college,' or 'You thought I could do more and now I do this,'" his daughter Becky said.

Earlier, he was a business teacher at McCutchenville and Cory-Rawson high schools.

He was born July 3, 1921, in Hancock County's Eagle Township to Millie and Emmanuel Bame. He was a 1939 graduate of Rawson High School.

The family lost their farm in the Depression. Mr. Bame weighed 117 pounds when he went into the Army during World War II. He and his wife had been married for five weeks. They didn't see each other for three years.

As a member of the 337th-1338th Combat Engineers he took part in the invasion of Italy. Veterans of the unit remained close and had annual reunions until about three years ago.

The GI Bill allowed him to further his education, daughter Becky said. He received a bachelor of science degree in 1949 from what was then Findlay College and a master of education degree in 1953 from Indiana University. Midcareer, he went to Ohio State University, lived in a dormitory, and received a specialist's degree in administration.

Mr. Bame was a member of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran, Findlay, where he was financial secretary and Sunday school superintendent. He was a former treasurer of the county retired teachers association, the Hancock County Genealogical Society, and the Findlay Rotary Club.

He and his wife traveled to Italy and England and visited relatives in Germany whom he discovered through his genealogical research.

He was a joke teller and he liked to play cards, especially bridge, about which he was serious. Too much chatter might prompt him to bang his ring on the table and say, "'Less talk. More cards,'" daughter Becky recalled. "He was a very funny guy."

Surviving are his wife, E. Eileen, whom he married Oct. 10, 1942; daughters, Pam Hill, Becky Martz, and Denise Scott; son, Ken Bame; sister, Marilyn Rausch; 13 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday in St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Findlay, where visitation will begin at 1 p.m. Arrangements are by the Coldren-Crates Funeral Home, Findlay.

The family suggests tributes to the church or the Hancock County Retired Teachers Association scholarship.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.



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