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Published: Wednesday, 7/9/2014

Karl A. Friend [1941-2014]; Civil War inspired B.G. teacher

Friend Friend

Karl A. Friend, a retired American history teacher who continued to study the past, died Sunday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township. He was 72.

He had liver cancer, said Deborah Pirolli, his life companion.

Mr. Friend retired in 2002 from the Bowling Green City Schools, his longtime employer. He taught junior high earth science for a time, but for more than 30 years, he taught American history to eighth graders.

He gave nearly every student a nickname. Some who wrote during his illness only signed a nickname and asked, “Do you remember who I am?” Ms. Pirolli said.

“He would,” she said.

He took a particular interest in the Civil War and his forebears fought on both sides, he told The Blade in 2010.

Mr. Friend was a former trustee of the Greater Toledo Civil War Roundtable. He was a member of the U.S. Cavalry Association, but also a member of the Morgan’s Men Association — named for a Confederate general — and the Friends and Descendants of Johnson’‍s Island Civil War Prison. Another interest was geneaology, and he was active in the Friend Family Association of America.

He was a former vice president and treasurer of the Fort Meigs History Military Roundtable.

Mr. Friend was born Dec. 30, 1941, in Fort Wayne, Ind. to Mildred and Harold Friend.

He grew up in Sylvania and was in the last graduating class in 1960 at Burnham High School. He received a bachelor of education degree in 1965 from Bowling Green State University.

Surviving is his life companion, Ms. Pirolli.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Thursday in the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg, where services will be at 10 a.m. Friday.

Tributes are suggested to Fort Meigs in Perrysburg; the Fallen Timbers Battlefield Preservation Commission, or Hospice of Northwest Ohio.

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

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