Lois Tuttle, who with her late husband, Harold, owned trucking-related firms and whose acuity with finance kept the books balanced, died Monday in ProMedica Ebeid Hospice Residence, Sylvania. She was 86.
She had cancer, her family said. A longtime Sylvania Township resident, Mrs. Tuttle lived in the Browning Masonic Community, Waterville, son Keith said.
Mrs. Tuttle and her husband were business partners for much of their marriage, ultimately at Transport Equipment in South Toledo, of which she was secretary-treasurer for 35 years. The firm, which closed with their retirement in 1995, sold the bodies and equipment that made a truck chassis, for instance, a snow plow or a dump truck.
“My mother had an iron fist over all the finances at Transport Equipment,” son Keith said. “She paid all the bills. All the suppliers called on her. My mother ran every financial aspect. My dad ran the sales. She was extremely organized, to the nth degree.”
The couple later started Motor Carrier Service Inc., a trucking company now based in Northwood, and Transport Leasing, which leased trailers. They sold those firms in the 1980s to son Keith and concentrated on the original company. After they closed Transport Equipment, her husband for several more years delivered trucks of all sizes for a major trucking firm.
“I always said, this man does not have blood in his veins. He has diesel fuel in his veins,” Mrs. Tuttle told The Blade in 2011.
Her husband started driving for his father’s Cleveland-area trucking firm while in high school. He and his wife moved when he became manager of a Toledo trucking company. To supplement their income, the couple visited school-board meetings in a 25-county territory to sell school buses.
“They were out every night, the true entrepreneurs they were,” son Keith said.
She was born June 29, 1931, in Cleveland to Ann Redmond and John Richmond. Her mother married Alfred Perkins, who adopted Lois. She was a graduate of St. Joseph Academy, Cleveland, and attended the University of Toledo.
She had diverse interests. She was a member of business and Shriners groups and Toledo Sailing Club, of which her husband was a past commodore. Asked to be a guest at dinner, she volunteered to bring dessert — and arrived with five pies she made.
She and her husband enjoyed dancing and liked to visit the old Toledo restaurants where a combo played for diners and couples could get up and dance while waiting for their entree or dessert.
“You could see her in an evening gown on Saturday night, and on Sunday afternoon after church she liked nothing better than baiting her own hook and going perch fishing,” her son said.
She and her husband married July 2, 1949. He died Oct. 31, 2011. She also was predeceased by a daughter, Karen.
Surviving are her sons, Bruce, Keith, and Scott; daughter, Laura Figliomeni; brother, Jerry Richmond; 14 grandchildren, and 13 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Michael’s in the Hills Episcopal Church, Ottawa Hills. Arrangements are by the Walker Funeral Home.
The family suggests tributes to the Zenobia Shrine hospital transportation fund; the youth fund at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, where she was a longtime member, or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
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