Edward F. Poss, Jr., who continued to strive even as he developed a sales speciality in material-handling equipment and formed his own business, died of cancer Sunday in his Margate, Fla., home. He was 82.
Mr. Poss and his wife, Betty, spent summers in Toledo and winters in Margate before moving to Florida two years ago.
He formed Poss Equipment Sales Co. in the mid-1970s and offered rebuilt forklift trucks and other material-handling equipment and industrial scrubbers and sweepers. He was independent and became adept at what he did, his wife said.
He retired at 63.
"That was too early," his wife said. "He made a mistake and did a lot of part-time work. He had so much ambition."
He made deliveries for a government-subsidized senior citizens nutrition program. He also became a part-time sales representative of material-handling equipment and systems for a local business.
Decades earlier, he was hired by the Harold Taylor Co. and learned all about equipment used in warehouses, from forklifts to conveyor systems. Toledo was an industrial center, and he made sales calls to auto and glass companies.
"He loved it," his wife said. "He was not behind a desk, and he was in and out of a car and met with purchasing agents and engineers.
"His personality was sales. He loved the challenge," she said, "and he loved to work on commission. He was not a salaried person. He wanted the challenge of knowing, 'I can get that extra money.'"
Not quite satisfied enough to stay put, he moved on to Kern Truck Sales and then to Brennan Industrial Sales.
"He was sold on every bit of merchandise he would sell to other people," said Jerry Howard, a longtime friend. "That probably was the underlying cause of his business success."
Born Jan. 18, 1930, in Bellevue, Ohio, to Helen and Edward F. Poss, the family moved to Toledo when he was 5, and he grew up on Heatherdowns Boulevard. His father was a leader in the Lucas County Democratic Party, served on the county board of elections for 12 years, and twice ran, unsuccessfully, for county commissioner. He also was prominent with the Eagles, serving as former national head of the fraternal organization and holding nearly every state office. He was secretary and manager of the local Lodge. His mother was former head of the Eagles' Ohio State Auxiliary.
He was a lifelong Democrat, although he didn't follow his father into the public side of politics, "but [he] had that knack of getting along with people," his wife said. "He probably did get that from his father."
Mr. Poss was a 1947 graduate of Central Catholic High School and received a bachelor's degree from John Carroll University.
He was a former member of Brandywine Country Club and liked to golf. He got a hole-in-one at South Heatherdowns course in 1982.
"He was a fine golfer and a fine gentleman and certainly brought a lot of integrity to the game," Mr. Howard said.
A motor home transported the family on summer vacations, whether to California or area campgrounds. He and his wife later traveled the world.
Surviving are his wife, Betty, whom he married Aug. 18, 1956; sons, Ed III and Tom; daughters, Marcia Mrkva and Susan Poss; sister, Maureen Backiewicz, and eight grandchildren.
Memorial services will be at 11:30 a.m. today in St. Andrew Church, Coral Springs, Fla., where he was a member. The family suggests tributes to Christ the King Church, Toledo, where he was a former member.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6182.
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