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Published: Thursday, 7/12/2012

Judith B. Morgan, 1930-2012: Teacher also ex-president of Toledo Day Nursery


Judith B. Morgan, a onetime teacher who volunteered to help the youngest and oldest in the community, died Tuesday in her Ottawa Hills home. She was 81.

She had congestive heart failure, her daughter Susan said.

Mrs. Morgan was on the volunteer board of directors of what is now Sunset Retirement Communities during the 1980s, a period of growth at the organization's historic Indian Road campus.

Before she married, Mrs. Morgan was a teacher at Stickney School in North Toledo. She was a member of the Junior League of Greater Toledo and took part in its volunteer projects. She also was dedicated to the Toledo Day Nursery, which dates to 1871, and became its board president.

"It was the inner satisfaction," her daughter said, "seeing the smiles from the kids, the fact that they felt safe and were learning. They had a good place to be with people who cared about them.

"She'd always had that compassion for children particularly, but for people in general."

She was born Sept. 25, 1930, to Irene and Frederick Bargmann. Her father was an investment banker, and she was the youngest of five and the only girl. The family lived on Scottwood Avenue in the Old West End, and the large side yard was the right size for a football field or ice rink.

"My mom was right out there with [her brothers]," her daughter said. "She played football. She played hockey. She did whatever the boys were doing. She loved sports and loved to be active."

Mrs. Morgan was a graduate of St. Ursula Academy. Her brother Tom was in the Air Force in Arizona, so she traveled west. She was a 1952 graduate of the University of Arizona. "Mom was kind of an adventurer," her daughter said.

She married David S. Morgan on Aug. 29, 1959, and became a homemaker and stay-at-home mother. When her daughters entered Ottawa Hills schools, she volunteered to chaperone field trips or be a room mother.

"She was devoted to us, to our activities, to our lives, to my dad, and everything we were involved in," daughter Susan said.

And their Brookside Road home became the place where the Morgans' daughters' friends gathered.

"Mom and dad welcomed everybody and were interested in our friends' lives and made people feel welcome and at home," daughter Susan said.

Mrs. Morgan learned golf as a child at the Inverness Club. She was a former club champion at Belmont Country Club.

She and her husband hunted pheasant and duck, and later took up fly-fishing at Rockwell Springs Trout Club near Castalia, Ohio. In recent years she and a friend, Joan Haigh, made annual fly-fishing trips to Montana.

She liked to talk politics as well and had strong opinions, "and I respected that," said Mary Jo Anderson, a friend since kindergarten. "She was a very good loyal friend. It has been a respectful and enduring relationship all these years."

Mrs. Morgan and her husband did some traveling, but their cottage at Leland, Mich., was their real refuge and became a family gathering place. Her husband, who was president of Lathrop Co. and an executive vice president of Rudolph/Libbe, died in 1997.

Surviving are her daughters, Susan E. Morgan, Patricia M. Frank, and Kathryn M. Hartman, and three grandsons.

Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday in the Walker Funeral Home. Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in Corpus Christi University Parish, where she was a member.

The family suggests tributes to Sunset Retirement Community; Corpus Christi, or the David S. Morgan Fund of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Toledo, of which Mr. Morgan and daughter Susan were presidents.

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

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