Read G. Backus

Read G. Backus

Glassport, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 19 Apr 2016 (aged 81)
Sylvania, Lucas County, Ohio, USA
Burial Sylvania, Lucas County, Ohio, USA
Memorial ID 161496307 · View Source
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Read Backus, a longtime Sylvania dentist and city councilman, died Tuesday at Sunset Village in Sylvania. He was 81.

He had dementia for several years, said his daughter, state Rep. Barbara Sears (R., Monclova Township).

After graduating from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio, and dental school at St. Louis University, Mr. Backus completed his residency at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown and served in the Army Dental Corps from 1961-63.

He later joined his uncle's dentistry practice in Toledo before moving out to Sylvania, where he maintained his practice for 42 years.

In addition to typical human patients, Mrs. Sears recalled her father doing volunteer dental work on some of the Toledo Zoo's largest residents, including elephants and hippos.

Son David Backus is also a dentist.

For 37 years, the elder Mr. Backus served on Sylvania City Council. Mrs. Sears, who served for a decade alongside him on council, said her father took the time to hear all sides of an issue before making decisions.

"He thought long-term and tried to build consensus with people about how their community should look," she said. "I've extended a lot of what I've learned from him to how I manage legislation down at the statehouse."

Mrs. Sears recalled campaigning for her father, years before joining him in politics. On her first run for council, they technically ran against each other, each vying for a limited number of open seats.

She said he served at a time when Sylvania experienced significant growth and was proud of his contributions to such projects as the city's senior citizens' center and the Sylvania Area Joint Recreation District.

Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough called the councilman civic-minded and community-focused.

"Read is exactly the kind of person you want to be involved in local elective office," Mr. Stough said. "He wasn't doing it to get ahead politically, he did it for the good of the community."

In 2008, just months after retiring from his dental practice, the longtime councilman announced his resignation to travel with his wife. They enjoyed cruises to Hawaii, Alaska, and the Caribbean.

Born July 4, 1934, to Earl and Mary Choate Backus in Glassport, Pa., he married the former Doris Birtcher in 1957.

Sports were important to the family, Mrs. Sears said. Her father played for the Sylvania Great Black Swamp Frogs, the city's vintage baseball team. He also was involved with the Boy Scouts of America, McCord Road Christian Church, and the United States Power Squadron.

He is survived by his wife, Doris; son, David; daughter, Barbara Sears, and three grandchildren.

Visitation will be Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. Saturday at Reeb Funeral Home, Sylvania. A funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. The family suggests tributes to the Alzheimer's Association .Toledo Blade, April 22, 2016

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  • Created by: Roberta Ott - Hobbs
  • Added: 22 Apr 2016
  • Find A Grave Memorial 161496307
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Read G. Backus (4 Jul 1934–19 Apr 2016), Find A Grave Memorial no. 161496307, citing Toledo Memorial Park, Sylvania, Lucas County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by Roberta Ott - Hobbs (contributor 47517226) .