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Published: Sunday, 12/2/2012

Elizabeth R. 'Libby' Sido, 1920-2012: Physician’s wife reorganized auxiliary for Flower Hospital

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Elizabeth R. “Libby” Sido, who was a support to her physician husband — and one of his biggest promoters — as he rose to prominence in the Toledo medical community, died Tuesday in Flower Hospital. She was 92.

Her health failed after she fell and a broke a hip several days earlier, her daughter Martha Nordstrom said.

Mrs. Sido and her husband, Dr. Gregor Sido, moved to Swan Creek Retirement Village in 2005. He died June 26, 2008.

The couple, formerly of Sylvania and Ottawa Hills, moved to Toledo in 1949. He established a family practice and “worked his way into the medical community, and my mother was extremely supportive,” their daughter said.

“I think she was the social being of the couple, and she joined the organizations,” Ms. Nordstrom said. “They were new in Toledo. They didn’t know anybody here. She promoted him in her very elegant gracious way. She would never be pushy, ever.”

The couple supported the Toledo Symphony and Toledo Opera and had season tickets. She was a member of the auxiliaries of Flower Hospital and the Academy of Medicine of Toledo and Lucas County. When Flower moved from the Old West End to Sylvania, she was asked to reorganize the auxiliary for the hospital’s new home and became the group’s president, said Jean Scherbarth, another auxiliary member.

“She was the most delightful person to work with you could ever imagine,” said Mrs. Scherbarth, whose late husband, Dr. Rolland Scherbarth, was head of the family practice residency program at Flower. “She was very organized and everything worked very well.”

Mrs. Sido ran the family finances and made sure the family home ran smoothly. She also kept the books for her husband’s office.

She was a Scout leader for her daughters and son. She helped her children with their music lessons. And she was a member of the American Association of University Women. She was Mobile Meals volunteer for more than 30 years and helped organize functions at Epworth United Methodist Church, where she was a 63-year member.

“She was an absolute love — wonderfully kind and sympathetic and empathic for those less fortunate,” said Ellie Brunner, a longtime friend. “The next time I come around, I want to be just like Libby Sido.”

Mrs. Sido and Mrs. Brunner, both Epworth members, volunteered for many of the same causes and for decades belonged to the same women’s bridge club.

“God, church, country, family were paramount,” said Mrs. Brunner, whose late husband, James, was a philanthropist and chairman of the marketing department at the University of Toledo’s college of business administration. “We devoted our lives to our husbands and children and, outside the home, we did all the wonderful charitable things, school [volunteer] work, all the fund drives. That was a woman’s role back then.”

Mrs. Sido’s husband played an important early part in what became the Medical College of Ohio. He was on the study committee in the early 1960s that led to the chartering of the Toledo Area Medical College and Education Foundation. After a long day at his practice, he attended many late meetings.

“She was an independent woman. She didn’t have to have him home at any time,” daughter Martha said. “She was very proud of him. We all were.”

She drove the children to Illinois for visits to her family and her husband’s. Her aim as she planned the annual summer vacation was to expose her family to sites of historical import and natural wonder.

She was an organizer of the Indian Trail Garden Club in Ottawa Hills. When her husband retired, the couple took a six-week European vacation timed to the growing season, arriving in the Netherlands to see fields of tulips in bloom and in England for the Chelsea Flower Show.

The couple enjoyed ballroom dancing at events sponsored by the Cotillion Club, of which they were members.

She was born Aug. 17, 1920, in Olney, Ill., to Miriam and C. Clyde Rice and grew up in Effingham, Ill. She was a band member at the local high school and continued to play flute at DePauw University — where she met her husband in a chemistry class.

She continued her studies at Washington University in St. Louis and was a medical technologist at what is now Barnes-Jewish Hospital while her soon-to-be husband attended medical school at St. Louis University.

The Sidos married Dec. 18, 1944, a Monday, after Dr. Sido finished his fall semester exams.

She remembered what it was like to be new in town, and the Sidos often invited interns to Thanksgiving dinner and other family functions.

“[She] wanted people to feel welcome and happy,” daughter Martha said. “She just made people happy around her. She would reach out to others. She wanted to include them.”

Surviving are her daughters, Anne Germana, Martha Nordstrom, and Amy Stallfus; son, Philip Sido; 13 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

Memorial services are to be at 1 p.m. Saturday in Reed Chapel at Swan Creek Retirement Village. Arrangements are by the Bersticker-Scott Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to Epworth United Methodist Church or the Life Care Commitment fund at Swan Creek.

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



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