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Published: Friday, 5/11/2012

Faith E. Marcinek, 1935-2012: Nurse practitioner was advocate for disabled children

BY MARK ZAROBNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Faith E. Marcinek, a pediatric nurse practitioner who through her work with Lucas County Children Services was an advocate for children with developmental and physical disabilities, died of cancer Thursday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township. She was 76.

She and her husband, Robert, moved from Rossford to the Oak Harbor, Ohio, area in the early 1990s.

"They always wanted to retire on the water," their daughter, Amy, said.

Mrs. Marcinek retired in 1997 from Lucas County Children Services, where she was employed 24 years. She was administrator of the children's extended-care unit at the former Miami Children's Home in Maumee from 1973-93, when the unit closed. She told The Blade in 1973 that the only county in Ohio with a residential facility for children with developmental disabilities was Lucas County.

Caring for the children "was something she was very passionate about," son Dennis said. Her daughter added: "My mom found value in people that other people might not find value in. People responded to her dedication and commitment."

So that parents who were home caregivers could get a break, she helped set up respite care as a place where their children with disabilities could be dropped off for a time. She also worked to make the extended care unit eligible for Medicaid reimbursement.

In addition, Mrs. Marcinek was Children Services' director of medical services from 1981 to 1997. She made sure a nurse was on duty around the clock to examine the children who came into Children Services' custody through abandonment, neglect, or abuse.

She was a charter board member in the 1970s when Anne Grady started her drive to build a care center for those with severe developmental disabilities. The result was the Decem Center, later renamed the Anne Grady Center.

She was an American Red Cross volunteer in disaster services, blood services, and school health services.

She was born Sept. 17, 1935, to Dorothy and Edward Heiman and grew up in Rossford. She was a 1953 graduate of Central Catholic High School and a 1956 graduate of the Mercy School of Nursing. She was a pediatric nurse practitioner and received her certification from the Medical College of Ohio after a rigorous course of study.

As a hobby, she made decorative ceramic items for Halloween, Christmas, and any occasion. She made the figures atop son Dennis' wedding cake. She had her own kiln, did her own firing, and was a student of technique, with the skill to vary shape and texture of her pieces.

She'd been a member of the former Ss. Cyril & Methodius Church, Rossford. She was a member of St. Boniface Church, Oak Harbor.

Surviving are her husband, Robert, whom she married August, 1956; sons, Daniel, David, Dean, and Dennis; daughter, Amy Sangvai, and 14 grandchildren.

Services are to be Saturday at 10 a.m. in All Saints Church, Rossford, where the family is to greet friends after 9 a.m. Arrangements are by the Sujkowski Funeral Home of Rossford.

The family suggests tributes to the church or Hospice of Northwest Ohio.

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



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