E. James Wolff, Jr., of Toledo, a high school tennis champion who continued to play most of his life, died Friday of pulmonary fibrosis at Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg. He was 87.
Mr. Wolff played tennis for DeVilbiss High School, winning the city tennis championship one year, according to his wife, Marilyn Wolff. He graduated in 1942.
He joined the Air Force during World War II and was sent to study cryptography at Bowdoin College in Maine, after which he was stationed in India for three years working as a cryptographer.
Back in Toledo he received a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Toledo.
Mr. Wolff married Marilyn Hellrung in 1950.
He retired as inside sales manager of Baron Drawn Steel Corp. in 1992 after 44 years with the company.
Mrs. Wolff said her husband played tennis until he was 76, stopping because of trouble with his knees. He played at Toledo Tennis Club in Ottawa Hills and other local tennis clubs.
Mr. Wolff volunteered for several years in the late 1980s as a Golden Apple, tutoring grade-school children at Wernert Elementary School.
He served for about five years on the board of Friends of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library.
He coordinated the hospitality program for the 11 a.m. Mass at Corpus Christi University Parish for the last 15 years and assisted as a volunteer with Heartbeat of Toledo.
"He's a family man," said Mrs. Wolff.
"If he wasn't playing tennis he was doing something with the family; a very, very dedicated family man with a heart of gold."
His daughter Laura Rader of Wyomissing, Pa., said her father was loving and supportive and was devoted to his wife, and loved his children's spouses as well.
"He was a really loving, sentimental, wonderful, great guy. Everybody loved him. Each of us children grew up thinking each of us could achieve and do what we wanted with our lives. He was ahead of his time supporting us," she said.
She said that when she was at UT and the only female in her business program, her father encouraged her.
She said none of the children took their dad up on his offer to teach them tennis, but they all became tennis players as adults.
"We thought it was pretty cool he was playing tennis. Not many dads played tennis like that," she said.
She said her father was "sentimental to the end."
Mr. Wolff is survived by his wife, Marilyn; sons, E. James III, Thomas, and William; daughters, Linda Dorley and Laura Rader; 12 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
Visitation is to be Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. at Walker Funeral Home, 5155 Sylvania Ave.
A funeral Mass is to be Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Corpus Christi University Parish, where an hour of visitation will precede the service.
The family suggests memorials to Heartbeat of Toledo, 4041 Sylvania Ave., or a charity of the donor's choice.
Contact Tom Troy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6058.
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