Robert P. Bauerschmidt, a 40-year Blade employee who helped the newspaper navigate new technology, died Thursday in his Orlando, Fla., home. He was 88.
Mr. Bauerschmidt, formerly of Perrysburg, learned he had cancer last summer, his wife, Sandy, said.
He retired from The Blade at the end of 1985 as assistant plant engineer, and his duties often required being on call nights and weekends. He was promoted to that job in 1972.
As newspaper production changed from Linotype machines and type cast in hot lead to computer typesetting, "Bob was sent by The Blade to various schools in Chicago and New York to learn about the new equipment and see about the installation and teach the staff," his wife said.
His daughter Mary added: "He always wanted to learn. He was like a sponge."
When he was hired in 1947, his father, Joseph, had been a Blade printer for more than 20 years. The younger Mr. Bauerschmidt became a machinist assigned to keep the Linotypes in operating order.
"He was a very easygoing guy, and everybody liked him," said Lou Hogan, a onetime Linotype operator who retired as a composing room assistant foreman.
He formerly was on the executive board of the Toledo Typographical Union. He had been shop chairman, served on the pension committee, and received training in electronics at the union's headquarters. He was especially proud, his daughter said, of his role on the Toledo Record, a paper put out by striking Blade union workers during the 1966-67 labor dispute.
He was born May 26, 1923, to Frances and Joseph Bauerschmidt and grew up on West Harrison Street in Maumee. He was a 1942 graduate of Maumee High School.
He was in the Army Signal Corps during World War II and served in Brisbane, Australia, where he met his first wife, Ethel. They married in July, 1944, moved to Perrysburg after the war, and raised a family. She died April 10, 1985.
He was Roman Catholic and dedicated himself to serving people through his church, St. Rose in Perrysburg. He considered becoming a deacon and took classes in the Bible and religion at Lourdes College. At St. Rose, he met Sandy Naumann, and they shared rides to Lourdes after discovering their class schedules were nearly identical.
"I would say we were soul mates on a spiritual level. We were very blessed," she said.
They married Dec. 4, 1987, and he became a father figure to her four children, then ages 9 to 18.
"Bob was mentally and physically very young at heart," she said. "And he loved families, and it's a great tribute to his first wife and all his children that he loved marriage and family and would say yes to a second family."
Surviving are his wife, Sandy, whom he married Dec. 4, 1987; daughters, Mary Berning and Debra Ferguson; sons, Robert T., Michael, and Kerry Bauerschmidt; stepson, Robert Naumann; stepdaughters, Holly Bruinsma, Jennifer Naumann, and Cathy Pague; sisters, Pat Dickey and Frances "Sis" Waltman; brothers, Don and Jim Bauerschmidt; 22 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren.
Visitation is to be Tuesday from 3 to 9 p.m. in the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home, Maumee, with a recitation of the Rosary at 7 p.m. and a Knights of Columbus service at 7:30 p.m. Funeral services are to be Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. in St. Rose Church, Perrysburg.
The family suggests tributes to a charity of the donor's choice.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6182.
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