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Published: Wednesday, 7/4/2012

Shirley Ann coddington, 1939-2012: 'Old school' teacher put emphasis on manners


Shirley Ann Coddington, 72, of Perrysburg, a retired teacher, died June 22 of complications from cancer at the Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Perrysburg Township.

Mrs. Coddington taught for Toledo's Head Start program from 1995 until 2002, when she retired. "She was old school. She was old fashioned," her son, Brian, said. "She thought manners were as important as the lessons [her students] were learning. And she taught them to treat each other fairly and well," Mr. Coddington said.

"She was always a student of life even though she was a teacher as well," he said.

Mrs. Coddington was born on Aug. 13, 1939, on a farm near Broadland, S.D., to Louis and Mamie Harden Bies. She lived on the farm for 12 years, attending a one-room school. She then went to Huron High School in South Dakota, from which she graduated in 1957. Later that year, she went to South Dakota State College.

She studied at the college until 1959, when she got a job testing asphalt for the South Dakota highway department. There, she met Bill Coddington, marrying him in 1960 and following him to Germany, where he was deployed as an Army lieutenant.

Upon his honorable discharge four years later, they returned to the United States for additional military training. When he was later deployed to Vietnam, she took their children to South Dakota, to be near her family.

Altogether, they moved 12 times in less than 10 years, from Germany to the east and west coasts of the United States, with two stops in South Dakota, until they finally settled down in 1970, when Mr. Coddington left active military duty, joined the Army reserves, and accepted a job in Jamestown, N.Y.

In 1981, his career opportunities took them to Oklahoma and later to Texas. In 1982, they returned to Jamestown, where they lived until moving to Perrysburg in 1991. Her husband took a job as an engineer at Temp Glass Inc. in Perrysburg Township.

Moving from city to city and from state to state did not bother Mrs. Coddington, and she grew to enjoy it, her son said.

In retirement, traveling turned into a passion for her. The couple traveled several months each year, both stateside and abroad, including Australia, Egypt, China, Russia, India, and Peru. Mrs. Coddington enjoyed planning those trips, chronicling them, and sharing those chronicles with family and friends, her son said.

Her memberships included the First United Methodist Church in Jamestown, where she taught Sunday school and was director of education. Mrs. Coddington also was instrumental in the church's outreach program, as lead teacher and as director, her son said.

She is survived by her husband, Bill; sons Neal, Curtis, and Brian; daughter, Catherine Micallef, and three grandsons.

Memorial services are to be Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg, and July 13 at 11 a.m. at Christ First United Methodist Church, Jamestown, N.Y. The family suggests tributes to the American Cancer Society, Hospice of Northwest Ohio, or Christ First United Methodist Church in Jamestown.

Contact Mike Sigov at: sigov@theblade.com or 417-724-6089.

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