Charles H. Weaver, a leader in Toledo, Ohio's Latino community since the 1960s, died
Thursday in Heartland of Oregon. He was 88.
Mr. Weaver -- Charlie to all who knew him -- had congestive heart failure, his daughter, Diane, said.
He was a founder of Latins United, a nonprofit group on South St. Clair Street in South Toledo since 1970.
He and his late wife, Lucy, were partners in life and in their service to the Latino community.
He was president for more than 15 years of Latins United, and his wife later was president. Mrs. Weaver was a teacher in the Toledo Public Schools for 23 years.
"They were an awesome team," said Connie Eason, a longtime friend who served as an officer in Latins United.
He believed Latins United could be both a social spot and pillar in the community, "where Latinos could be proud and gather and work together to improve Latino life," said Ms. Eason, who is Latino outreach coordinator for the Toledo-Lucas County Victim Assistance Program.
"He was a celebrity among us because of his leadership and the work he did," Ms. Eason said. "It is a passing of an era that is inevitable and, hopefully, we can look back and not make the same mistakes and appreciate that we didn't get here by ourselves."
He liked to talk history and took pictures and videos to document events, "because he thought it was important for the future to know the past," Ms. Eason said.
When Latins United moved to South St. Clair, he, his wife, and others fixed up the building and later created an adjacent social hall.
"He did a lot of the work," Ms. Eason said. "He took his time with that vision and did not give up, and that's what he was teaching people: You do not give up."
The hall was completed in 1992. He retired as president almost two years later, and the group held a dinner-dance in his honor.
"My dream was to make the place better and provide a place that people could be proud of," Mr. Weaver told The Blade then.
Money was tight, but revenue from hall rentals and budget discipline allowed the group to pay off its mortgage four years early.
The group played host to forums on candidates and issues, although as a nonprofit it couldn't make endorsements. The Weavers eagerly volunteered for the campaigns of Democratic candidates. They were particularly close to the late Joseph Flores, a judge of Lucas County Juvenile Court.
Mr. Weaver was born March 29, 1924, in Texas to the former Pamposa Sanchez and Henry Weaver. His mother died while giving birth to him, and his father raised the children while tending the ranch they lived on near San Antonio. He was 23 when he joined his father and family for the trip north in search of jobs.
Mr. Weaver, a longtime East Toledo resident, worked for Schmidt Meat Packing and retired from AP Parts, the maker of replacement mufflers.
He kept his heritage close. He often wore a Western hat and boots and leather vest and liked the ranchera music he grew up with.
"He liked everything about being a Mexican," Ms. Eason said.
He and his wife married May 24, 1952. She died Nov. 8, 2009.
Surviving are his daughter, Diane Fangman; son, Bruce Weaver; stepbrothers Andy, Willie, and Tom Weaver; five grandsons, and six great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 1-8 p.m. today in the Eggleston Meinert & Pavley Funeral Home, Oregon chapel, with a Rosary service at 6:30 p.m. Funeral services will be at 9 a.m. Saturday in Ss. Peter & Paul Church, Toledo, where Mr. Weaver and his wife were longtime members.
The family suggests tributes to Ss. Peter & Paul Church.
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