Patricia M. Dickey (1932-2018)

Longtime teacher acted, sang in theater


Patricia M. Dickey, 86, a longtime teacher in the grade school she attended who brought her versatile soprano voice to character roles and the chorus of Waterville Playshop, died Wednesday at St. Luke’s Hospital, Maumee.

She had kidney failure and congestive heart failure, her family said.


Mrs. Dickey, of Waterville, was a full-time teacher for 36½ years, retiring in 1995 from St. Joseph School in Maumee, where she taught fourth grade for 32 years. For about seven years afterward, she was a part-time substitute in the Anthony Wayne district.

“She wanted to mold minds,” her husband, Ken, said.

She was not strict, her son, Mark, said but “she had rules, and the kids kept by them. She was a do-whatever-it-takes type teacher, and she knew how to move them and motivate them and keep them getting better.

“She was strong in her religion, too,” her son said, “and she was trying to mold their morals and faith and their souls, so to speak.”

Mrs. Dickey, a lifelong member of St. Joseph Church in Maumee, once wrote that faith to her was a verb, “the act of people doing all they can to strengthen their own faith and helping the rest of us toward that same goal,” she wrote.

She was born June 4, 1932, to Frances and Joseph Bauerschmidt. She went to St. Joseph School and, as a teacher, her classroom faced the house she grew up in and then the parish parking lot that took its place.

She was a 1950 graduate of Maumee High School and received a bachelor’s degree from the former Mary Manse College. She taught at Catholic schools her entire career.

Mrs. Dickey and her husband were longtime participants in Waterville Playshop, onstage and away from the footlights. She had been chairman and vice chairman, membership trustee, and was editor of the Playshop newsletter and, according to an online remembrance written by the group’s historian, was a fount of ideas for each play’s program book.

She directed some productions and was the Playshop’s delegate to the Ohio Community Theatre Association.

With years of experience in the St. Joseph choir, she sang in the chorus for Playshop musicals. She excelled at character roles — Bloody Mary in South Pacific ; in a non-singing role, Abby Brewster, one of the sisters in Arsenic and Old Lace ; a sister of another sort in Nunsense.

Three generations of her family shared the stage in Fiddler on the Roof , Mame , and The Music Man .

She and her husband and daughter Julie took part in a 1940s-themed musical variety show, Juke Box Saturday Night, a Playshop traveling production performed at parties and community gatherings.

“She loved to sing and had a beautiful soprano voice,” her daughter Julie said.

Her daughter Mary died as a newborn in 1957.

Surviving are her husband, Kenneth, whom she married Nov. 3, 1956; daughters, Julie Oster, Becky Tittle, and Beth Kurtz; son, Mark; sister, Fran “Sis” Waltman; brothers, Donald and Jim Bauerschmidt.; six grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

The family will receive visitors from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Maison-Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home in Maumee, with a recitation of the Rosary at 7 p.m.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Church, Maumee.

The family suggests tributes to St. Joseph Parish, Maumee; the Ursuline Sisters of Toledo, or the Sisters of Notre Dame Toledo Province.

Contact Mark Zaborney at or 419-724-6182.