Christine Chapman Monroe, an East Toledo business owner and for decades a supporter of eastside civic life, died Thursday in Ebeid Hospice Residence, Sylvania. She was 74.
Mrs. Monroe, of Sylvania Township, had cancer. After months of intense treatments this year, she had some relief in July.
She and her husband, Don, and their children vacationed in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where she paddled a canoe and rode a Jet Ski.
“We knew we were on borrowed time, and we believe in God, so God gave us this time,” her husband said.
The couple married nearly 22 years ago and, even as she was dying, she told him, “We are so blessed,’” said her husband, a former city official and a former executive director of River East Economic Revitalization Corp. “We had the deepest love of anyone you'll ever meet. Every day at least 10 times a day, we said how much we loved each other.”
Peter Ujvagi, a longtime eastside businessman and public official, said: “Their love affair was something to behold. They were an unbelievable couple.”
“So many of us are heart-broken,” said Mr. Ujvagi, now the Lucas County administrator. “Chris was the love of Don's life.”
Through 2009, Mrs. Monroe was owner of Chapman's Quickprint, which in its last years was in the Weber Block Building at Front and Main streets. She was known for her rapid reproduction of flyers, brochures, and other printed matter for businesses, organizations, and political campaigns.
Mrs. Monroe often gave a deal to youth sports teams, Scout groups, and worthy causes “because she was a community person,” Mr. Ujvagi said.
“She was always reaching out to the community, and she would always help the community with whatever needs they had,” Mr. Ujvagi said. “She believed in the eastside and believed businesses needed to thrive there.”
Formerly of West Toledo and Lambertville, she held memberships including the International Park board, the River East Association, and the East Toledo Club.
“She loved being with people. She's always been a sincere people person,” Mr. Monroe said. “For most of the organizations, she donated more than she earned.”
Mrs. Monroe's work ethic and business sense came from her father, a Greek immigrant who became a tailor, her husband said. She wasn't greedy and never needed a lot of money, he said, but her favorite part of being in business was “she loved making money.”
She and her former husband George Chapman were, in the early 1970s, among the early franchisees of Big Red Quickprint, which was founded in Toledo and expanded nationwide. Instant printing was new and exciting.
“We had people waiting in line for 100 copies,” she told The Blade in December, 2009. “It was a fun company to be with. We had good sales for a long time.”
As the Chapmans' marriage ended in the late 1980s, she got the East Toledo store, which was at Woodville Road and Navarre Avenue for many years.
She was born in 1938 to Gladys and Demitrius Dedadakis. The family lived near the Toledo Museum of Art and from an early age, her mother enrolled her in music, art, and dance classes there.
She was a 1956 graduate of Scott High School and attended the University of Toledo.
For decades, she was director of a baton and drum corps for young people. She also was a member of the Manhattan Dance Co. and performed in New York City and Las Vegas.
Surviving are her husband, Donald K. Monroe, Jr., whom she married Nov. 17, 1990; daughters, Roxanne Damask and Stephanie Davis; son, Greg Chapman; stepdaughter, Sheila Hayes; stepson, Marc Monroe; 11 grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.
Services are to be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Eggleston Meinert & Pavley Funeral Home, Oregon Chapel, where visitation is to be from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday.
The family suggests tributes to Martin Luther Lutheran Church on Nevada Street in Toledo.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6182.