Katheryn C. Laird
1928 - 2020
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(News story) Katheryn C. Laird, a longtime teacher at the former Longfellow Elementary School, died Nov. 1 in Ebeid Hospice Residence at Flower Hospital. She was 92.

She had lung problems, said her older sister, Mary Jane Spencer-Hulme.

Mrs. Laird retired from Toledo Public Schools in 1990 after 38 years of teaching sixth grade at Longfellow, a school she had attended in her own childhood. Before that, she taught at an Ida, Mich. one-room school for a year.

Her sister said she was a dedicated and conscientious teacher.

"She found ways to teach her students the way they can learn," Mrs. Spencer-Hulme said. "She sometimes would even rearrange the desks and chairs, trying to make it comfortable for them to learn."

But she also knew when and how to set behavior limits for her students, her sister said.

"'I am not your friend - I am your teacher,' she would tell them then," Mrs. Spencer-Hulme said.

Born Oct. 6, 1928, in Garrett, Ind., to Fleta and Rollie Crothers, she moved to Toledo with her family in 1938 when her father, a railroad worker, was transferred here.

Mrs. Laird attended Longfellow and then DeVilbiss High School, graduating in 1947. She then went to the University of Toledo. graduating in 1951 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. In retirement, she took writing classes at what now is Lourdes University.

While in high school, Mrs. Laird was the editor of the school newspaper and worked the weekends and summers as a butcher at a West Toledo butcher shop. As a UT student, she was the campus correspondent for The Blade for three years.

In 1954 she married John Laird in Toledo.

In retirement, she enjoyed golfing and traveling the world with her husband, who died in 2009.

Mrs. Laird was a longtime member of Pilgrim Church and belonged to Valleywood Golf Club in Swanton.

Along with her husband, Mrs. Laird was preceded in death by her younger sister, Dorothy Crothers.

Surviving is her older sister, Mary Jane Spencer-Hulme.

Because of the pandemic, services will be private. Arrangements are by Ansberg-West Funeral Directors.

The family suggests tributes to Ebeid Hospice Residence at Flower Hospital or to Hospice of Northwest Ohio.

This is a news story by Mike Sigov. Contact him at sigov@theblade.com, 419-724-6089, or on Twitter @mikesigovblade.
Published in The Blade on Nov. 25, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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3 entries
November 29, 2020
Katie , def going to miss your smile at Pilgrim. Rest peacefully in our Father's Loving Arms.
Pat Kovar
Family
November 22, 2020
She was one of my favorite teachers at Longfellow school in the early 70’s. Sending prayers.
Cindy Nash
Student
November 22, 2020
Katy Laird was a mentor to me when I joined the Longfellow staff in 1960. She was always vivacious and upbeat. I taught 7th grade to her sixth and she was most generous to guide me through my first years of teaching. May her spirit fill all young teachers and make them as successful as she was. Rest in peace good friend.
Mary Zaye
Friend
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