Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
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Joseph Taberner: 1929-2012: OSU football player became sales manager, sportscaster

Joseph Taberner, a retired beverage sales manager, a former sportscaster, and a onetime football player for Ohio State University, died of complications from a stroke Friday at Waterford at Levis Commons in Perrysburg. He was 83.

Mr. Taberner retired in 2008 as a general sales manager for Heidelberg Distributing Co. in Perrysburg. He had been at different times a sales manager for the former Buckeye Beer in Toledo and a general sales manager at Seaway Beverage Inc., also in Toledo.

“Dad was a strong people person. He had many, many friends. Some of the friends called him ‘Beer Baron,’ ” Brian Taberner, his son, said.

“[And] sports meant a great deal to him. He was really passionate about it,” he said.

A 1993 inductee into the City League Athletic Hall of Fame, the elder Mr. Taberner was the president of the Downtown Coaches Association through 1960. He played right guard on the Ohio State football team from 1948 to 1950, his son said.

Mr. Taberner, his brothers Orris and Doug, and his late, longtime friend Frank Gilhooley had a sports talk show on WTOL-AM in the 1960s and 1970s, broadcasting Ohio State football games among others.

“He [Joseph Taberner] and Frank did all the Big Ten games when they traveled all around the country. Frank was play-by-play and dad was the color commentator," Brian Taberner said.

A native of Toledo, Joseph Taberner was a 1947 graduate of Libbey High School, where he was all-city and all-state in football in 1946.

He went on a football scholarship to the University of Kentucky and transferred to Ohio State after his freshman year.

He attended OSU until 1950, when he was drafted into the Army.

He ended up signing up for the Air Force, according to his son.

He was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base in eastern Washington from 1950 until his honorary discharge in 1954.

He then returned to Toledo and went into sales in the beverage industry.

In 1953, he married Shirley Spular. They later divorced.

Surviving are his daughter, Lori Cremeens; sons, Brian Taberner and Jeff Taberner; brother, Orris Taberner; nine grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, and his former wife, Shirley Taberner.

Visitation will be at 2 p.m. Friday at the Walker Funeral Home, 5155 Sylvania Ave., where a Scripture service will be at 7 p.m. Funeral services will be at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home, with a Mass of the Resurrection to follow at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 4227 Bellevue Rd.

The family requests tributes to Blessed Sacrament Church.

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