TEMPERANCE — Phillip Crary, a former member of the Bedford Township Board who was a pharmacist and took over the drugstore his father started, died Saturday in his Temperance home. He was 75.
He had cancer.
In 1995 he sold Crary Drug, founded in 1953 by his father, Norman, and the store remains open. He worked part time until four months ago, most recently at the Medicine Shoppe.
“He was always on the go,” his daughter, Liz, said. “He never really retired. He was always moving and doing something outside and inside.”
He volunteered in the community, as his father had. He was a former commissioner of Bedford’s Best Baseball, a youth league, and as a store owner he sponsored teams.
Mr. Crary won election in 1968 to the township board as a trustee, was returned to office, and served through 1980. It was a period of tremendous growth for the Toledo suburb, and he had to consider water and sewer projects and zoning and master plans through many meetings, his daughter said.
“He wanted to do something for his community,” his daughter said. “He wanted to see the community become a better place. It was altruistic.”
He received a cornea transplant and was a supporter and former member of the Lions Club.
He was born in 1936 to Florence and Norman Crary and grew up in Sylvania.
He was a 1954 graduate of the former Burnham High School, which he continued to attend after the family moved to Bedford Township. He worked for Farnham Funeral Home afterward. In 1957, he went into the Navy and had pharmacy duty while serving in Cherry Point, N.C.
He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo and joined his father at Crary Drug.
“The store was almost like a general store,” his daughter said. “They had anything from ice cream to gifts to over-the-counter medicines to records. His favorite part of his job was dealing with customers.”
He became owner after his father’s death in 1970.
Mr. Crary traveled the world, often with his grandson Ryan — including three trips to Africa. He had vacation places at Lewiston, Mich., and later on Posey Lake in Michigan. He liked to fish. He was a self-taught gardener and grew orchids, roses, and lilies. He was a self-taught painter too. His artwork, in oil, featured flowers and landscapes.
“He had a natural ability that he could pick up on anything he wanted to try,” his daughter said. “My dad was an extremely unassuming person — very intelligent, but a quiet man. With us he was very low key, and he didn't do anything for glory, to make more of himself. He was just a cool dude.”
He liked to play blackjack and Texas Hold ’Em poker, and staff at the casino in Windsor often greeted him by name.
“He won and did very well, but he also knew when to stop,” his daughter said. “It was a great hobby for him.”
Surviving are his wife, Ruth, whom he married May 12, 1958, daughter, Elizabeth Titus; son, Bradd Crary, and three grandchildren.
Services are to be at 7 p.m. today in Urbanski’s Bedford Funeral Chapel, Temperance, where visitation is to begin at 2 p.m. He and his wife were longtime sponsors of children in Africa through World Vision, and the family suggests tributes to the organization in care of Mr. Crary’s memorial account.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@the blade.com or 419-725-6182.