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Bill Travis passed away on December 11, and his wife of 69 years, Lucy Travis,
followed him 5 days later on December 16. It is of little surprise that they departed for their next lives together. From July 9, 1944, through to the end, they were side by side. What better way to
leave this world. They died of natural causes.
Lucy was born in Mason, Michigan in 1924, the youngest of five children. Bill was born Kent, Ohio in 1923, the oldest of two. They met on the campus of Michigan State in 1944, fell in love in about 45 minutes, and were married later that year in Columbia, SC. Shortly thereafter, Bill left to fight for our country in World War II. He served in Patton's army at the Battle of the Bulge, earning a Purple Heart and three Bronze Stars for Extraordinary Valor in Combat. While Bill served his country, Lucy was a true "Rosie the Riveter," working in a munitions plant in Lansing, Michigan.
After the war, they settled in Springfield, and ultimately Toledo, where they lived more than 50 years, bringing energy and enthusiasm to endless charitable, social and spiritual activities. Bill was a legendary instructor of Dale Carnegie courses - only Dale himself won more friends and influenced more people - and later took a position as VP of Marketing at First
National Bank. Bill also held numerous Board and leadership positions at organizations ranging from the YMCA and the National Arthritis Foundation, to the American Bankers Association and the Shrimp Club of Greater Toledo. Lucy was a "networker" well before the phase was popular, connecting people through her work with Welcome Wagon and
as executive director of the Sylvania Chamber of Commerce. They were both active in the United Church of Christ for five decades, and traveled extensively both in the U.S. and abroad. Their
favorite trip was a river boat cruise up the Amazon River in Brazil.
Bill in particular enjoyed a nice gin and tonic, and Lucy followed suit. Many times Bill commented how this habit contributed to their longevity! Both were avid readers - historical fiction, spy novels, the sports page, you name it. They were life-long tennis players, a formidable doubles team from their 20s well into their 80s.
Lucy and Bill raised three sons, Paul (Bev) and Mike (Nancy) of Columbus, Pat (Missy) of Chicago, and a daughter, Diane of Toledo. They enjoyed many wonderful experiences on the tennis court, in the swimming pool, at the beach in Naples, playing touch football, playing bridge, cribbage, and lots and lots of poker. And they were dedicated to passing on these legacies to their next generations - nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
There will be no memorial service, and no requests for donations or flowers. If you want to honor Bill and Lucy, pour a couple fingers of good gin, splash on some tonic, and raise your glass in their memories. That's what we'll be doing.
Arrangements by Schoedinger Northwest Chapel, Columbus, Ohio. To send condolences and share memories, please visit
Schoedinger Funeral Home Northwest Chapel
1740 Zollinger Road
Columbus, OH 43221
Published in Toledo Blade on Dec. 17, 2013