Michael W. Eberly (1949-2018)

Michael W. Eberly
Michael W. Eberly

Michael W. Eberly, a financial adviser, patron of the arts, and community volunteer, died Thursday at ProMedica Toledo Hospital. He was 68.

He died of cardiovascular complications from Type-1 diabetes, his wife of 24 years, Erika Eberly, said.

He was a financial adviser in Toledo for multiple firms and individual clients from the late 1970s until his death, most recently at Wells Fargo Advisors.

“Beneath the well-worn blue jeans and sweatshirt beats the heart of a Renaissance man, a Medici perhaps,” a Blade reporter wrote in a 1992 profile. “Mr. Eberly has a lot in common with the 15th-century Florentine bankers who revved up the Italian Renaissance.”

In the late 1980s or early 1990s, Mr. Eberly, then a stockbroker with Prescott, Ball & Turben Inc., created the Summit Street Studio — a welcoming and affordable artists' loft space at a cluster of three buildings that he and his business partner, Ken Wise, bought from nearby Riverside Hospital in Toledo's Warehouse District — helping launch what now is a thriving neighborhood.

“It's the beginning of the Warehouse District taking off in this end of town,” Rose Reder, a sculptor who moved the Toledo Sculptor's Guild headquarters downtown from Toledo Botanical Gardens, told The Blade in a 1992 interview.

Mrs. Eberly said it was art classes that inspired her husband to open Summit Street Studios. He took art classes at the University of Toledo before graduating about 1973 with a degree in business and a minor in fine arts, and then took some more art classes at UT — primarily in printmaking — in the 1980s, when he went back to college just for that.

“He was passionate about his family and about his community,” Mrs. Eberly said, adding that her husband was a businessman but an artist at heart.

Mr. Eberly's advocacy and service was inspired by his mother, Catharine S. Eberly, his wife said.

He served as an ex officio board member of the University of Toledo's Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women, named after his mother. He also participated in the center's scholarship committee and personally donated to deserving students.

Mr. Eberly was also active in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation after his two youngest children were also diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes.

Until recently, he was president of the Board of the Loch Erin Lake Association, resigning in May.

Mr. Eberly was born Dec. 6, 1949, in Toledo to Catharine S. and William Eberly, a former business manager of the Milwaukee Braves and a stockbroker.

True to his father’s legacy, Mr. Eberly coached his children in a variety of sports, Mrs. Eberly said.

Surviving are his wife, Erika Eberly; his daughters, Sloan Eberly Mann and Chelsea Westendorf; sons, Cody and Alexander Eberly; brother, Steve Eberly; two grandsons; stepmother, Elizabeth "Betty" Eberly, and stepbrothers and stepsisters.

Visitation will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Walker Funeral Home, 5155 W. Sylvania Ave.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

The family suggests tributes to the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women Scholarship Fund (Fund #2402440) or to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Contact Mike Sigov at sigov@theblade.com419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.