Timothy W. Etue, a retired vocational counselor and assistant area manager with the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission’s Toledo office whose second career was serving the Catholic Diocese of Toledo and several parishes as a deacon, died in his home Saturday of pancreatic cancer.
Mr. Etue, 71, was diagnosed with cancer in December, his family said.
A Toledo native, Mr. Etue attended St. Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in Indiana after graduating from Central Catholic High School in 1960.
He intended to be a priest and after graduating from St. Meinrad in 1964, he began additional studies at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati. He left after a few weeks.
“It was a little tougher, and he decided it was not what he wanted to do,” said Anne Marie Etue, his wife of 45 years.
The Cuban Missile Crisis was heating up, and the fear of being drafted prompted him to enlist in the Coast Guard, where he spent six years based in Toledo, Mrs. Etue said.
After his discharge, the diocese hired him in 1965 to become its first and only director for its fledgling Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, which he ran for about five years.
He met his future wife, Anne Marie Heintschel, while at Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and they married on May 4, 1968.
Mr. Etue left the diocese position to teach at St. Patrick Parish in Bryan, followed by stints teaching junior high at St. Francis de Sales Parish and later at St. Adalbert in Toledo.
Low pay and a growing family prompted his decision to join the state’s rehabilitation commission in 1972, and he stayed until he retired in 2001.
“The vow of poverty was built into the job,” Mrs. Etue said. “His job changes were guided by salary.”
Mr. Etue’s work for the state entailed vocational counseling and rehabilitation for ex-convicts, she said. Eventually he was promoted to working with individuals with disabilities.
His skill in helping disabled people was put to good use in 1992, when on behalf of the diocese he coordinated a trip to Rome, which included making arrangements for a blind woman and her seeing-eye dog. The group’s audience with Pope John Paul II was a highlight, Mrs. Etue said.
“For someone who was so committed to the church, [the audience] meant a whole lot,” Mrs. Etue said.
Mr. Etue, who was born on Oct. 30, 1942, to Joseph and Helen Etue, became a deacon in 1989. He served St. Martin de Porres, Immaculate Conception, and St. Pius X parishes.
After retiring from the state, he worked with Catholic Charities in its family life office in its marriage enrichment programs and preparing couples for marriage. He retired in 2012.
Lauren Downey, a granddaughter who with her mother lived with Mr. Etue for five years, said her grandfather “saw the best in any situation.”
With her the only girl among six grandsons, her grandfather took care at ensuring she was given the same opportunities, Ms. Downey said. He taught her to fish and to water ski at the family cottage on Wamplers Lake in Michigan. She said her grandfather was strong on family tradition.
Mr. Etue is survived by his wife, Anne Marie; daughters Jennifer Menon and Amy Hass; sons Tim and Jeffrey; seven grandchildren, and brothers Larry, Joe, and Dan.
Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 2950 Ilger St., where the body will be on view, with a vigil at 7 p.m.
A Mass of the Resurrection will be said at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Pius.
Memorials are suggested to St. Meinrad Archabbey or to St. Pius X.
Coyle Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Contact: Jim Sielicki at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6050.