Thursday, August 29, 2002

Obituary: Evelyn Sweet Sauer, 86, worked for Ruth Lyons

West-side woman helped save Delta Queen

By Rebecca Billman,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DELHI TOWNSHIP — Evelyn Sweet stayed sweet even after she married a Sauer.

        Mrs. Sauer was TV personality Ruth Lyons' secretary when she married then-Times-Star news editor Philip Sauer in 1940. One of the old Cincinnati paper's columnists had fun writing about how Evelyn Sweet became Sauer.

        Mrs. Sauer died Sunday at Bayley Place in Delhi Township, where she had lived for the past 18 months. The former Bridgetown resident was 86.

        She grew up in North College Hill and went straight to work after graduating from high school. Her family doesn't recall how long Mrs. Sauer worked for Mrs. Lyons, but they do know it was a position that she was always proud to have had.

        “She got to have all the excitement of being around the TV show in its heyday and meeting celebrities,” said her granddaughter, Sherree Thomas of Green Township. “Ruth would say "Oh, come on out on stage Ev and say hello.' ”

        Eventually Mrs. Sauer left the job to become a homemaker and mother to three daughters.

        She had a “soft, caring heart,” said her granddaughter. She reached out to “care for everyone and everything around her.”

        For example, Mrs. Sauer took care of her sick parents during the last years of their lives. She even adopted elderly neighbors, whom she drove to the grocery store and doctor's office.

        “She cared for all animals — her own pets and others',” her granddaughter said. “She once went to the SPCA and brought home a box of cats that were going to be put to sleep.”

        Mrs. Sauer also didn't hesitate to go out and work for a cause she believed in. Back in the early 1970s, when the Delta Queen was threatened with being dismantled, she led a drive that collected thousands of signatures on a petition to save the beloved riverboat.

        Later, she would go down to the Public Landing when the boat was docked there to listen to the calliope.

        But “her greatest joy was driving her beloved 1981 Camaro — the first new car she ever had,” Ms. Thomas said. “She just loved nothing more than to jump in that car and be on the go. She wasn't going to sit at home and knit.”

        Mrs. Sauer was preceded in death by her husband in 1996.

        In addition to her granddaughter, survivors include: three daughters, Pat Morgan of Fairfield, Nancy Horton of Florence and Jackie Miller of Okeana; and three other grandchildren.

        The funeral is 11 a.m. today at Dalbert, Woodruff & Isenogle Funeral Home, 2880 Boudinot Ave. in Westwood. Burial is at Spring Grove Cemetery.

        Memorials: Alzheimer's Association, 644 Linn St., Suite 1026, Cincinnati 45203.


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