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Published: Thursday, 8/7/2014

Jodi Mariea-Harley, 1975-2014: Deputy loved for her strength

Mariea-Harley Mariea-Harley

Jodi Mariea-Harley, a Lucas County sheriff’s deputy, died Wednesday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township. She was 38.

She learned she had stomach cancer in December, her sister, Michelle, said. Colleagues held a benefit to defray her medical ex-penses. At their urging, their union, Local 3056, United Auto Workers, and the sheriff developed guidelines so employees could give their sick time to a colleague.

“They had respected her so much and loved her dearly, they wanted to give up their time for her to continue to have a paycheck,” Sheriff John Tharp said. The sheriff postponed his annual picnic for employees so they can attend the deputy’‍s funeral Saturday.

She worked at juvenile court most recently. She began in 1999 as a corrections officer in the county jail’s booking area. She became a deputy in 2002. She and Deputy Annette Grzechowiak often provided security at Toledo Mud Hens games.

“She served the community with the same strength and dignity that she displayed in her life,” Deputy Grzechowiak said.

Born Sept. 15, 1975, to Carol and Charles Mariea, she grew up in West Toledo. She was 4 when she announced her career choice to her mother, her sister said. She was a 1993 graduate of St. Ursula Academy, where she played on the volleyball team, and in 1998 received an associate degree in law enforcement technology from the University of Toledo.

She played in volleyball leagues and, through a friend about four years ago, met Lee Harley, Jr., who was impressed by her independence. Pastor Andy Wiegand married them in her hospice room Tuesday.

Surviving are her husband, Lee; parents, Carol and Charles Mariea; brother, Dean Mariea; sister, Michelle Flis; stepdaughters, Amy and Kristin Harley, and stepson, Stephen Harley.

Visitation will be from 2-8 p.m. Friday in the H.S. Birkenkamp Funeral Home on Tremainsville Road. Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Joseph Church, Sylvania. Arrangements are by the Blanchard-Strabler Funeral Home. The family suggests tributes to the Autism Society of Northwest Ohio.

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

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