Saturday, April 17, 2004

Reds lose a fan, Helen Unger, 99


Helped run family firm in Cheviot

By Rebecca Goodman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

GREEN TOWNSHIP - Helen Unger was a typical west-side woman.

She enjoyed cooking for her family, working alongside her husband in the family business - the Unger Meat Market in Cheviot - and going to the Harvest Home Fair year after year. And she was a huge Reds fan.

Mrs. Unger died Sunday at ManorCare Nursing Home in Springfield Township just a few months before her 100th birthday.

She broke a hip after falling in 2002 and her health had been in decline since that time.

Born in 1904 in her family's home on Dayton Street in the West End, Mrs. Unger was 9 years old when her father died, leaving her mother to raise two daughters alone.

Mrs. Unger attended St. Augustine School and completed a two-year program at the old Xavier Commercial High School.

Her family moved to Westwood in 1918 and Mrs. Unger became a switchboard operator.

In Westwood she met Fred Unger a member of the family that had founded the Unger Meat Market on Armory Street in 1898. Relocated to Cheviot in 1922, it was a "small meat market right in the middle of downtown Cheviot," said her grandson, Dan Unger of Colerain Township. In 1980 the business became Unger Distributing and today provides meats to Thriftway and Kroger.

Mrs. Unger kept the market's books from the time she married Mr. Unger in 1932 until his death in 1971. She also handled the accounting of meat and ration stamps during World War II.

Mrs. Unger loved to travel and continued traveling after her husband died. She drove herself to Florida when she was in her 80s and flew to California to visit relatives just before she broke her hip.

She was a member of the Southwestern Ohio Retail Grocers Association and the Westwood/Cheviot Garden Club.

Survivors include two sons, Fred of Colerain Township and Bill of Bridgetown; a daughter, Joan Heldacher of Hilton Head, S.C.; 13 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

The funeral is 10 a.m. today at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 2832 Rosebud Drive, Westwood. Burial will be in the family plot at Vine Street Hill Cemetery.




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