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Published: Wednesday, 10/30/2013

Marcia Siemens [1949-2013]; Kroger spokesman,manager aided arts

BLADE STAFF
Siemens Siemens
JETTA FRASER Enlarge

Marcia Siemens, who was the public presence of the Kroger Co. as it sponsored Toledo-area fireworks and food banks, golf tournaments, and the arts, died Monday in her Monclova Township home. She was 64.

She suffered cancer the last 2½ years, her husband, Donald, said.

Mrs. Siemens retired in 2007 after five years as manager of the Kroger store on Harroun Road in Sylvania. Before that, she directed consumer and community affairs for northwest Ohio. She was the person quoted or in the photo when Kroger installed self-scan checkout equipment and when it sponsored a community events.

“She was sort of the face of Kroger for many charitable organizations in the community,” said Judd Silverman, who was tournament director of the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, of which Kroger was a major sponsor. “She was a wonderful representative for Kroger, and she was a very enthusiastic supporter of not only the tournament, but of the community.”

Mrs. Siemens was among recipients this month of the J. Michael Hill Leadership Award presented by Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank. She was vice chairman of the board and, through the years, fostered Kroger’s part in the food bank and with the national organization, Feeding America, which in turn allowed the food bank to serve more people in need, said James M. Caldwell, president and chief executive.

“Marcia played a critical role in terms of our evolution as an organization,” Mr. Caldwell said. “She had an empathy and an ability to relate with individuals who were in need.”

She also could articulate that to her higher-ups at Kroger. “Toledo is a much better place because of Marcia Siemens,” Mr. Caldwell said.

On her watch, Kroger’s support included the Toledo Zoo, fireworks in Toledo and Bowling Green, and the Toledo Ballet. She also served on the boards of civic and charitable groups. When the company wanted to build a new store, her duties included guiding the project through government regulators.

“A lot of things happened for the Kroger Co. because of her magnetic personality,” said Chuck Woodmancy, a longtime colleague and manager of Kroger’s new Maumee store. “She was a very caring, dear friend. She was someone you could count on to be there for you.”

She was hired in 1969 as a cashier at the Miracle Mile Kroger. Within months, she worked in the deli and then led the department. She became deli merchandiser for northwest Ohio.

“Anything she attempted to do she did well and took charge and brought forth ideas to make it better,” her husband said.

She was a former member of village council in Berkey and was its police commissioner and clerk of courts.

She was born Sept. 24, 1949, to Bernice and John Dunn and was a 1967 graduate of Start High school. She attended the University of Toledo. She and her husband were fans of fine dining and casinos — Caesars Windsor being their favorite — and liked to travel.

Surviving are her husband, Donald Siemens, whom she married April 11, 1969; sister, Mary Ellen Dunn, and brother, Thomas M. Dunn.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Friday in the Walker Funeral Home, Sylvania Township, where services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio or a charity of the donor’s choice.

— Mark Zaborney



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