Ramon “Ray” Brint, who started an electrical contracting firm in the family basement and, with the support of his wife, Theresa, built it into one of the largest in the area, died Monday in his home in Sylvania Township. He was 86.
He had cancer, family members said.
He was active in Brint Electric Inc. until about five years ago, when he stepped back to help care for his wife, who had Alzheimer’s disease.
“He was in his 80s before he slowed down,” said his son Ray, who now runs Brint Electric.
Mr. Brint’s interest in the electrical trade dated to his studies at Macomber Vocational High School.
He was a post-World War II Navy veteran stationed on Guam. With his Macomber training, electrical work became his duty on a seagoing tug, his daughter Colleen said.
Afterward, he worked as a civil engineer for E.S. Wagner Co. on prominent projects around Toledo, from shopping centers to Toledo Express Airport.
He started his own business around 1970 and, after hours, he rewired old houses, with his son Alan often in tow.
Mr. Brint knew the trade, and electrical work was appealing because it didn’t require a large outlay on heavy equipment.
“He could work out of the trunk of his car,” son Ray Brint said.
The business was incorporated in 1972, and the Brints’ basement was headquarters in the early years.
His wife encouraged him to start the firm, and then made a point to learn the skills she needed to keep the company books and handle payroll and pay the bills.
Brint Electric later moved to a building on West Central Avenue.
Well-known projects included the expansion of the Toledo-Lucas County Library downtown and Valentine Theatre restoration.
School districts, hospitals, and retail outlets have hired Brint Electric.
Years after working from his car, he still got calls from early clients asking for his help at their home.
“It could be nothing but a circuit breaker or fuse that blew, and he would fix it and wouldn’t charge them,” daughter Colleen said.
He was a man of few words, she said, “but when he gave you his word, that’s all you needed.”
That contributed to the firm’s success. “He had a lot of discipline. He followed through. He did the job right,” Ray Brint said. “We live to this day on repeat business.”
Mr. Brint spent summer weekends with family at their cottage on Little Long Lake near Fremont, Ind.
He liked to hunt and fish. Starting in the late 1980s, he and his wife took vacations to Europe and to the Caribbean islands.
Mr. Brint aimed to attend every convention of the National Electrical Contractors Association.
“They really started enjoying life,” Ray Brint said.
Mr. Brint was born June 16, 1927, to Cleo and Leroy Brint.
He and his wife married May 22, 1957. She died April 18.
Surviving are his daughters, Karen Allison, Rebecca Ticker, Nan Vantrease, and Colleen Wittenmyer; sons, Alan and Raymond; sister, Carolyn Haas; 14 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 10 a.m. today in the Walker Funeral Home, Sylvania Township. The family suggests tributes to the northwest Ohio chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.
Contact Mark Zaborney at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6182.