Frederick M. Marlo, 1925-2013: Teacher made his classroom a newsroom


Frederick M. Marlo, a high school journalism and English teacher whose influence remained with students for decades after they left his classes, died April 5 in the memory care unit of Sunrise at River Road in Tucson. He was 87.

He had dementia in recent years, his nephew Rick Baumgartner said.

Mr. Marlo retired about 1980 from Sylvania Northview High School and moved to Reno with his wife, Anne, who’d been a Sylvania elementary teacher.

“He was back for many reunions and continued to have friendships back in the Toledo area,” Mr. Baumgartner said.

Mr. Marlo — as he was called by the students who didn’t call him “Uncle Fred” — taught at the former Burnham High School in Sylvania; briefly at Rogers High School; then at Sylvania High School, which became Northview.

He’d been adviser to the yearbook and student newspaper.

“Fred Marlo was and is a legend among the students he had,” said Rob Fetters, a musician who was a Sylvania High student of Mr. Marlo’s in the early 1970s. “He didn’t run his classroom like a classroom. He ran it like an old-school newspaper office. He was the editor in chief, and he never treated us like kids, as much as he treated us like employees, and he was tough.”

Students with a casual approach to workflow might find Mr. Marlo’s finger in their chest as he warned, “Do you know the definition of deadline? Deadline means you’re dead if you don’t make it,” Mr. Fetters recalled. “He was the best teacher I ever had.”

Mr. Marlo corresponded regularly with former students and took great interest in how they were doing in the world, Mr. Baumgartner said. Several visited him in Reno, including Mr. Fetters and Ken Deutsch, a 1969 Sylvania high graduate.

“I went into journalism and became a writer solely because of his influence,” Mr. Deutsch said. “He expected the most out of everybody instead of the least. He was the kind of guy you would want to do well for.”

He could be private, but he slowly let down his guard, Mr. Deutsch said.

“The secret to his whole life was that he was completely in love with his wife, Anne,” Mr. Deutsch said. “He had her in his mind at all times, and they were a world of two people.

“He set an example for me, not only in a journalistic sense, but in a personal sense,” Mr. Deutsch said.

Mrs. Marlo died in 1998. “He never recovered from that in a way,” Mr. Deutsch said. “He told me he felt like a ghost.”

He was born to Mary and Andrew Masnaghetti — he changed his last name as an adult — and grew up and graduated from high school in Uhrichsville, Ohio. He received a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Northern University and a master’s degree from Ohio State University.

He was an Army veteran and served stateside. He and his wife married in October, 1951. They had no children of their own, but raised his niece, Suzanne Pauline, after his sister died.

The couple liked to travel, which is how they discovered Reno. They also became hooked-rug artists. They were members of South Reno Methodist Church and the Community Fellowship.

There are no immediate survivors.

Private services will be held this summer in Reno, Mr. Baumgartner said.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: or 419-724-6182.