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Published: Saturday, 1/12/2013

Florence Winzeler, 1917-2013 Educator last alumna of Smead girls school

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Florence Winzeler, 95, a longtime teacher who was the last alumna of the girls' school that became Maumee Valley Country Day School, died Thursday in her Waterville home.

She was in declining health recently, her son Ed said. Still, daughter-in-law Kathy said, "She was cognizant of everything. She lived a really long, full, incredible life."

Mrs. Winzeler retired in the early 1980s. For nearly 20 years, she taught first grade at Waterville Elementary. She liked to teach reading, a skill many children in that era came to first grade without, her son said.

She was well known in the community. Her husband, Charles, was a pharmacist active in Waterville civic affairs. Children and former students felt comfortable enough to drop by

her home for a visit. "Everybody came to the back door, yelled out her name, and walked in," her son said.

She grew up in Rossford's Eagle Point Colony. She was one of eight in the 1933 graduating class of the Smead School for Girls, which for 50 years had educated the daughters of the prominent and the well off. The Smead School, then in the Old West End, closed in spring, 1933, only to reopen in September, 1934, on Reynolds Road as the coeducational

Maumee Valley Country Day School. Smead School alumnae "felt the Smead School was a part of who they were throughout their lives," said Mary Fedderke, a Maumee Valley trustee whose late mother, Alice Carson, also was in that 1933 class. The school now prepares students for a globally connected society, she said, yet "Florence Winzeler represents that there are deep roots that still have meaning to anyone who gets involved in the school."

Mrs. Winzeler received a bachelor of arts degree in English from Oberlin College and a bachelor of science in education from the University of Toledo. She and her husband married April 2, 1947. He died Sept. 17, 1998. Surviving are her daughters, Kathy Skirtich and Barbara Harris; sons, Ed, Mark, and Brian Winzeler; brother, James Oblinger; 14 grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter. Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Peinert- Dunn Funeral Home, Waterville, with visitation from 4-8 p.m. Monday.

The family suggests tributes to the Anthony Wayne Alumni Association or the Waterville Historical Society.



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