By Joshua Benton
Blade Staff Writer
Rita “Robin” Halbert, a mother and worker with an interest in journalism, died Saturday at Lake Park Nursing Home, Sylvania. She was 85.
Born in 1912 in Fremont, she attended St. Joseph High School. There she developed an early interest in writing, and served as the first editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, The Voice.
After graduating, she joined the Fremont Daily News, where she was the society editor.
“She enjoyed meeting the public and writing columns on current events,” said son Kennard Hirt.
After leaving the Daily News, she began 23 years working for Blue Cross of Northwest Ohio, managing its Fremont office and going into the field to make sales.
“She was a one-woman team,” said son Reynold Hirt. “She liked helping people with any questions they had.”
She left Blue Cross in 1970, then worked several years as a secretary for the Sandusky County commissioners.
Between work and raising a family, Mrs. Halbert had little time for hobbies, but always had time to help others in need, her sons said.
“I guess being of service to others was a hobby for her,” son Reynold said. “She focused outside of herself. If someone needed something, she was very energetic in helping.”
“That was her prime interest in life, helping other people,” Kennard said.
She was active in several volunteer organizations, including Dendarah Court of the Ladies Oriental Shrine of North America, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the Valley of Toledo, and the Fremont Emblem Club, in which she held several local and state offices.
She was a member of Christ the King Church, Toledo, and its Altar-Rosary society.
She married twice: in 1933 to Jess Hirt, who died in 1969, and in 1974 to Donald Halbert.
Surviving are her husband, Donald; two sons, Reynold and Kennard Hirt; three stepsons, Donald, David, and Daniel Halbert; two stepdaughters, Patricia Wilson and Kathleen Manol; two sisters, Avaleen Eberly and Adeline Rei neck; six grandchildren; 10 step grand children, and seven great-grandchildren.
The body will be at the Boyer-Van Womer-Scott Funeral Home, 5055 Secor Rd., from 6 to 9 p.m. tomorrow, and at the Wonderly-Horvath Funeral Home, Fremont, after 2 p.m. Wednesday with a Scripture service at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Funeral services will be at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Fremont, at 11 a.m. Thursday.
The family requests tributes to Hospice of Northwest Ohio or Sacred Heart Catholic Church.