Marilyn Todia

In Memoriam

Below is the death notice of Marilyn Todia, Grandmother of John Todia, Class of 2011. Please keep the Todia family in your prayers.

Marilyn Anne Todia (née Kortan), beloved mother, grandmother and devoted Wife of forty-six years to the late Judge William C. Todia, passed away peacefully on March 27, 2023.

Born July 29, 1933 in Cleveland, Ohio, to the late Joseph C. and Helene R. Kortan (née Ferencz). Sister of Joseph E. Kortan, deceased (Diane), and Raymond C. Kortan of North Royalton. Sister-in-law to Victor W. Todia, deceased (Mary Jo). Beloved mother of William J. Todia, MD (Audry), Jennifer Rosenberg (William), James V. Todia (Carol), and Margaret Mary (Meg) Ludwig (David Ludwig, MD). Devoted grandmother of John Todia (Ecehan), Elizabeth Todia, Rachel Rosenberg (Kris Mazara), William Rosenberg III, Bradley Ludwig (fiancé Lucy Hamilton), Matthew Ludwig, Curtis Ludwig, Alleiah Westfall (Jason), Connor Keeley, Oscar Hoegler and Addyson Hoegler. She also leaves behind many cousins, nieces and nephews. Friend to many, and dear companion to the late Al Griffin.

Marilyn began her education at St. Charles Elementary School in Parma, Ohio. She went on to Lourdes Academy for High School, Class of 1951, and, later in life, in a show of enduring appreciation for her all-girls Catholic school experience, was proud to establish the "Marilyn Kortan Todia Family Scholarship Fund at Magnificat HS." Her parents indicated that helping pay for her college dream wasn't in the picture for Marilyn as her older and younger brothers "needed to be educated". In her determination, she applied to Notre Dame College for Women and was accepted, and supported herself by working a room and board job at Rainbow Hospital. Loving the challenge of work and school she served as President of her Freshman Class. Soon she discovered her desire to become a teacher, which was not available at Notre Dame College, so she went on to pursue her Bachelor of Science in Education at The Ohio State University. The next three years she excelled while supporting herself working for a Professor's family for room and board, with supplemental income from secretarial jobs. With an affinity for friendships, she was elected President of her sorority, Theta Phi Alpha. She graduated with pride from The Ohio State University in 1955.

With her diploma, enthusiasm, and determination in tow, she returned to her hometown of Parma for her first teaching position. Marilyn was always up for a challenge, even being assigned to sixty third graders, managing them single-handedly in a gymnasium while the rest of the school building was under construction. The Principal paid her a high compliment: "Marilyn Kortan always had everything under control, and those sixty children knew they had to do their work, and no nonsense." After four months, an additional teacher was hired, the class was split and moved into two regular classrooms.

On February 1, 1958, she wed the love of her life, young Lawyer, William Charles Todia. The honeymoon was a meandering one-month trip (including skiing in Aspen) from Cleveland, Ohio to Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, for her husband to report for two years of Army duty. They had son William Joseph, born in Charlottesville, VA, and daughter Jennifer Lynne, born in Ft. Meade, MD before returning to Civilian Life in Strongsville, Ohio. James Victor and Margaret Mary were born in the next few years to complete their Family of Six.

Marilyn ran a lively household, with each child playing two instruments and pursuing plenty of other activities. In her spare time, she served on the Parmadale Advisory Committee, St. Joseph Strongsville Parish Council, PTA and St. Joseph School Board, and was a lector and active parishioner of St. Joseph Church for sixty years. Active member League of Women Voters, host to foreign exchange students, Two Gallon Blood Donor, and an organizer of the first 'Strongsville High School After Prom' at Brook Park Recreation Center in 1983. She worked in Strongsville as a substitute teacher, where her no-nonsense reputation preceded her. Rumor has it that, on one occasion, a lookout peeked out into the hallway and warned the rest of the class, "Oh no, it's Mrs. Todia!", knowing it would be a day of 'no excuses accepted today' schoolwork.

Marilyn was passionate about voting, welcoming new neighbors with voter registration forms. She was a Precinct Committee person in Strongsville and Presiding Judge at the polls for thirty-four years. Instrumental in her husband's three successful campaigns for Berea Municipal Court Judge, he wrote in a letter to her that "being Judge was more your accomplishment than mine". She would send her husband Bill out to campaign after work in the months leading up to the election, only half joking that Bill would get his dinner only after he went out to knock on doors. Marilyn and Bill were known for riding their tandem bicycle in parades with their old-fashioned outfits. Marilyn was grateful for all the help and support from friends and family during each campaign season.

After the children were grown, she was active in the Strongsville Historical Society, volunteered as a Docent at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and as a RedCoat at Playhouse Square. She enjoyed swimming at the Ledgewood pool and playing tennis with friends and neighbors. Marilyn loved entertaining in the summertime in Vermilion, and relished annual trips to Chautauqua Institution, New York.

She took great pride and joy in her husband, their four children and their grandchildren. Some of her fondest moments were reading to the grandchildren, and as they got older, interviewing each of them about every detail of school and their careers.

In lieu of flowers, Marilyn would have suggested taking an online class or reading a book to a child. Donations may be made to the Marilyn Kortan Todia Family Scholarship Fund at Magnificat HS, William C. Todia Family Scholarship Fund at St. Ignatius HS, or St. Joseph Church Strongsville.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30am on Saturday, June 10, 2023 at St. Joseph Catholic Church 12700 Pearl Rd, Strongsville, OH, with burial to follow at Strongsville Cemetery. Family will receive friends at 10:30am-11:30am at St. Joseph Catholic Church and at a Luncheon (following Mass) in the Community room at St. Joseph Catholic Church at 1:00pm.

Posted on: April 3, 2023

You can view a list of all St. Ed's Alumni who have passed away on our website.

Marilyn Todia

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