Mary L. Mazziotti, a lawyer since the late 1960s whose expertise as a tax preparer was counted on for decades by Toledo area businesses and families, died Wednesday in Kingston Residence of Sylvania. She was 86.
The cause of death was not reported. She had dementia and was in declining health for about two years, said Marge Heilman, a friend.
Ms. Mazziotti most recently had her law and tax practices in her West Toledo home.
Clients trusted her with estate planning, probate matters, and real estate concerns.
She often had to settle a client's affairs after his or her death, clearing out the house and selling its contents, and eventually the property.
Some clients left behind challenges.
Her niece Michele "Missy" Mazziotti recalled an estate that included several large buildings filled with odds and ends that her aunt's deceased client picked up at garage sales.
"She was willing to do so much for them," her niece said.
"She always had interesting stories about things she was doing and people she was working for."
Ms. Heilman said: "She loved being an attorney."
She also prepared business and individual tax returns. Her manner was professional and her work thorough, said Naomi Tolly Dye, whose late husband, Dr. Warren Tolly, hired Ms. Mazziotti in the mid-1960s to do their taxes at the recommendation of a neighbor in his medical building.
"We felt we could call her any time about any problem," Mrs. Dye said.
After Dr. Tolly's death, his widow married Dr. Kenneth Dye, and Ms. Mazziotti remained the family attorney.
"Mary has been a very, very dear friend. She could not do enough for me," Mrs. Dye said.
Earlier this year, her niece received phone calls from clients eager to know whether Ms. Mazziotti was still in practice.
"That to me is really impressive," her niece said. "She had so many clients for years and years."
She was born Feb. 25, 1926, in Syracuse, N.Y., to Minnie and Frank Mazziotti, and grew up in Toledo.
She was a 1948 graduate of the University of Toledo, where she was an accounting major.
She later worked for one of the major companies headquartered in Toledo, her niece said.
Her sister, Rosina, was a graduate of the UT law school and was admitted to the bar in 1948. Ms. Mazziotti received her law degree from UT in 1967.
She was a gardener and nature lover, and she liked to take her late schnauzer, Cookie, for walks in Wildwood Metropark.
In recent years, she kept to a regular exercise schedule at the Sylvania Senior Center.
She was a former volunteer at the Toledo Museum of Art.
Family and friends were part of an investment club she started in the 1980s.
"She was a neat person and always willing to help anybody in her family," her niece said.
There are no immediate survivors.
Services will be private. Visitation is to be from 2 to 8 p.m. today in the Newcomer Funeral Home.
Tributes are requested to Erie West Hospice or the Toledo Area Humane Society.
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