Toledo Blade Obituary article for Jim Stout

by Dan Stout

In addition to the obituary written by my family, the local paper did an independant write-up as well. The following appeared in the Toledo Blade on April 7, 2011.

The first administrative manager of health and pension funds that served thousands of Blade employees during his 31-year tenure, James E. Stout died Sunday at his home in West Toledo. He was 79.

He had vascular dementia in recent years. A hemorrhagic stroke about 10 years ago affected his spoken communication. He still told old family stories, gesturing on occasion when the right words didn't come. "He still could enjoy life a lot," his wife, Maryann, said.

He retired in September, 1998, from the Toledo Newspaper Unions-Blade Welfare and Pension Trust Funds. Each fund is overseen by union and management trustees. The funds were created in the settlement of a labor-management dispute, said Al Espen, his successor and current administrative manager.

Mr. Stout became administrative manager in March, 1967. "He shepherded [the funds] from their inception, and he was instrumental in guiding the benefit programs for the union employees of The Blade," Mr. Espen said. "He could place himself in anybody's situation and help them find the best resolution possible, given the circumstances and the availability of the solution," Mr. Espen said. "He wanted to help everyone succeed. He helped guide me toward my successes in this position."

Mr. Stout was born July 6, 1931, and grew up in West Toledo. He was a 1949 graduate of Central Catholic High School and married the next year. He often worked two jobs to help support his young family. In the early 1950s, he became a mailer at The Blade and was an officer in his union. Though hired by the health and pension trusts, in essence "he stayed at The Blade and never left," his wife said. "He loved The Blade." He learned chess in childhood, took part in chess clubs, and, by mail, played long distance with fellow devotees. For a time in the late 1960s, he wrote a chess column in The Blade.

He and his wife were self-taught gourmet cooks and for years they held dinner parties for eight. He helped with presentation and serving. "He was a great taster too," his wife said. He knew which flavors and which dishes were complementary. The couple spent weeks, sometimes months, plotting a dinner's courses. They also offered their gourmet dinners as prizes in raffles to benefit their church, St. Jude, and St. Francis de Sales High School. He learned French, and guests at French-themed meals might arrive to find the evening's menu in that language. "He was always educating himself," daughter Linda said.

Family trips to their cabin at Patton Lake near Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., were a summertime tradition, as were fishing trips he took there and on Lake Erie with friends.

Surviving are his wife, Maryann, whom he married June 21, 1950; daughters, Linda Stout-Hughson, Jeanne Nadolny, Angela Terbrack, Rebecca Kaczmarek, and Margaret Sotet; sons, James A., David, and Daniel Stout; brother, Mike Stout, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Corpus Christi University Parish. Arrangements are by the Blanchard-Strabler Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio.

by Dan Stout