John Forrest Fellhauer (1939-2018)

Spanish teacher acted as translator for dying patients


John Forrest Fellhauer, a retired longtime Spanish teacher at area high schools, a community volunteer, and a man of many hobbies, died Aug. 23 at his Perrysburg Township home. He was 79.

He died of progressive supranuclear palsy, said Jean Fellhauer, his wife of 22 years.


Mr. Fellhauer retired in 2010 after teaching Spanish for 49 years.

Having started his career in 1961 with a four-year stint at Hanover (Mich.) High School, he taught at Clay High School for 42 years. He then was a substitute teacher at different times at area high schools including Northview, Southview, Northwood, and Genoa Area, from which he retired.

“He was a wonderful, caring man,” Mrs. Fellhauer said. “He cared for people. And he was an excellent teacher.”

Most people, who had gone through a four-year Spanish program that he established and ran at Clay High School, could test out for any Spanish language requirements in college, Mrs. Fellhauer said, adding that he taught at Clay High from 1965 to 2002 and later applied his program at other schools.

In the 1980s, Mr. Fellhauer also volunteered at what now is Mercy Health St. Charles Hospital as a translator for the dying Spanish-speaking patients as they left their final wishes.

“He answered a hospital call for help with translation and volunteered, because he always cared for people,” Mrs. Fellhauer said.

Mr. Fellhauer was born April 25, 1939, in Toledo. He graduated in 1957 from Libbey High School and went to the University of Toledo, from which he received bachelor’s degrees in language education and biology in 1961. He later took postgraduate classes in education at UT.

In his free time, Mr. Fellhauer enjoyed making dulcimers, gardening, and canning. His other hobbies included history, politics, guns, and reading. He also liked to travel to South America.

Mr. Fellhauer was a member of Oak Bend Church in Perrysburg, the National Rifle Association, and New Sportman’s Club in Millbury.

Besides his wife, Jean, surviving are his daughters, Amanda and Renee Fellhauer; sons, John and Mark Fellhauer; sister, Christine Surratt; brother, Tom Fellhauer; stepdaughter, Christina Blakeley; stepsons, Rick and Scott Griffith; two grandchildren, seven step-grandchildren, and a great-granddaughter.

Services were private. Arrangements were by Cremation Society of Toledo.

The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio or Oak Bend Church.

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