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Published: 2/2/2013

Doris Mohr, 1911-2013: Ex-teacher tutored students in her 90s

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Doris Mohr, an elementary teacher who first worked in a country school and who was a volunteer tutor in her 90s, died Tuesday at the Elizabeth Scott Community in Springfield Township, where she lived about seven years. She was 101.

She was able to visit family for Christmas and reminisce but was in failing health the last month, her daughter, Mary Ann Cooper, said.

Mrs. Mohr was among five centenarian residents whom Elizabeth Scott honored in January, 2012.

She and her late husband, Marvin, returned to northwest Ohio in 1997 after 20 years in Spring Hill, Fla., and moved to the Otterbein Portage Valley retirement community near Portage. While in Florida, she was a tutor. She volunteered to tutor area students brought to the community for help. One father said that his son, formerly a poor student, reached the honor roll after tutoring from Mrs. Mohr, her daughter said.

Mrs. Mohr, equipped with a teaching certificate from what is now Bowling Green State University, in 1931 began her career in a two-classroom country school in Elmira, Ohio, not far from where she grew up in Fulton County's German Township. Only single women were allowed to teach there, she told her daughter.

After she and her husband married, they lived apart so she could finish the school year — and keep her job.

The family eventually settled in West Toledo. Mrs. Mohr was a long-term substitute in Toledo Public Schools and then taught at Warren and Longfellow elementary schools.

She appreciated all ages, but taught fifth grade the longest.

“It was exciting if someone showed they were learning something from her and she could make their life a little better by teaching them something,” her daughter said. “She was very dedicated. She'd go in early and stay late to help the kids.”

Mrs. Mohr wasn't stern, and she never spoke of having behavior problems in her classes.

“I think she was relatively soft spoken, and sometimes that keeps them in line better than being more militant,” her daughter said.

She retired in 1970 and the couple moved because her husband took a job transfer to Chicago.

She was born Sept. 20, 1911, in Burlington, Ohio, to Ada and Edward Heer. She took part in theater productions at Archbold High School and was president of the class of 1929.

Mrs. Mohr had been a member of Pilgrim Church, where she taught Sunday school and was a Girl Scout leader. Much of the Mohrs' social life centered on Masonic activities at the Yondota Lodge, where her husband was a leader and she was in the Daughters of Jephthah.

She and her husband married Oct. 21, 1932. He died June 4, 2003. Their son, David, died May 15, 2012.

Surviving are her daughter, Mary Ann Cooper; six grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. today in the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home, Maumee. The family suggests tributes to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

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



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