Wednesday, Oct 24, 2018
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Ohio Citizens' chairman was leader in banking, civic, charitable groups


Willard I. Webb III, who led the bank his grandfather helped found and who was known for his community involvement as president of the Toledo Symphony board and chairman of the local Red Cross chapter board, died Monday in the University of Michigan Health System's University Hospital, Ann Arbor. He was 77.

He had heart disease, said his daughter, Dr. Catherine Webb, a physician.

Mr. Webb, formerly of Ottawa Hills, had homes in Naples, Fla., and at Crystal Lake, Mich.

He retired in 1990 as chairman of the board of Ohio Citizens bank, three years after retiring as chief executive officer. His grandfather Willard was one of the original shareholders in 1932 of Ohio Citizens Trust Co. Willard Webb, Jr., later was president and board chairman.

Mr. Webb, a graduate of Ottawa Hills High School, became an Ohio Citizens teller after receiving a bachelor's degree in 1947 from Williams College, Williamstown, Mass.

He became bank president in 1964. He was named chief executive officer in 1970 and chairman in 1972.

His father, Willard, Jr., died in March, 1972.

The bank was a major tenant when Fiberglas Tower was built and was an early leader in drive-through banking, bank-issued credit cards, and automatic teller machines.

“Bill was a banker's banker,” said Bruce Alcock, who was chairman and chief executive officer of the former Sylvania Savings Bank. “In banking circles, he was thought very highly of.

“He was just the kind of a guy you'd want for a next-door neighbor,” Mr. Alcock said.

Ohio Citizens and Cleveland-based National City Corp. merged in 1982, one of the first large local banks to merge with a larger out-of-town concern.

When Owens-Illinois, Inc., moved to One SeaGate in 1982, Ohio Citizens took over the former O-I building at Madison Avenue and St. Clair Street in downtown Toledo.

Ohio Citizens changed its name to National City Bank in 1992.

Mr. Webb was a National City director from 1983 to 1987. He was a former president of the Ohio Bankers Association and served on the governing council of the American Bankers Association. He was a former member of the Banking Board of the State of Ohio.

He was a leader in civic and charitable groups for many years. He was a former chairman of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority board of directors and was a former president of the Toledo Symphony.

He had leadership posts with the Medical College of Ohio Foundation, the University of Toledo Corp., and the United Way of Greater Toledo.

Mr. Webb in 1964 was one of a quartet, including then Lucas County Commissioners President Ned Skeldon, Henry Morse, and Steve Stranahan, who arranged for the return of the Mud Hens to northwest Ohio.

For service to the Greater Toledo Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, Mr. Webb was inducted into its Walbridge Society in June.

He was honored as the “outstanding volunteer fund-raiser” in 1991 by the local chapter of the National Society of Fund-Raising Executives.

“He was one of the finest Toledo citizens there ever was,” said his brother Thomas I. Webb, a retired lawyer.

Family, community, and the bank were his priorities, his nephew, Thomas I. Webb, Jr., said.

“His passions were skiing, golf, and sailing,” his nephew said, adding that Mr. Webb enjoyed taking his grandchildren on skiing vacations.

Mr. Webb was a 33rd Degree Mason.

Surviving are his wife, Janet, whom he married June 28, 1947; daughter, Dr. Catherine L. Webb; brothers, Thomas I Webb and John M. “Jay” Webb, and five grandchildren.

There will be no visitation or services.

The family requests tributes to the Toledo Symphony or to the scholarship fund named for Mr. Webb's late son, Willard I. Webb IV, at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn.

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