McAuley Alumnae Blog

McAuley High School, Toledo, Ohio

Father of Tamara Salsberry ’74 passed away

Posted by mcauleyhighschool on October 24, 2016

(News story) Thomas E. Salsberry, a builder and auctioneer who owned Salsberry Real Estate Co. after working as a real estate agent in offices around Toledo, died Saturday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Toledo.

He was 82 and had suffered from emphysema for years, his son Todd said. He had lived in Genesis Village for the past year.

He sold real estate for about 50 years, working for the Arnold, Crosby, Melle, and Danberry real estate agencies before opening Salsberry. As an auctioneer he sold the contents of homes as well as real estate and seemingly never said no to volunteering his time for charity organization sales, which made him well known in the area.

“If he walked into a restaurant, at least 15 people in the restaurant knew who Tom was,” said Rob Ludeman, a Toledo city councilman and a real estate agent for Danberry, who had worked with Mr. Salsberry at Salsberry.

Mr. Salsberry had just become affiliated with the Arnold Realty Co. in 1965 when he was named president of the associates division of the Toledo Board of Realtors. By 1970 he was vice president and sales manager of the Melle Real Estate Co.’s new South Toledo office. Later he was a managing broker with Danberry Realtors.

He opened Salsberry in the mid-1980s, starting in an office on Conant Street in Maumee and then moving to Heatherdowns Boulevard. About 60 real estate agents worked for the firm, selling residential properties in Lucas, Wood, and Monroe counties.

Mr. Salsberry often had 20 to 30 auctions a year, selling real estate to crowds that usually ranged from five to 25 people. Contents auctions, usually held at the home being emptied, drew bigger crowds, sometimes up to 150.

Mr. Salsberry’s manager in his real estate firm, Tom Matzinger, was his partner in building ventures. They called their partnership Tom & Tom and built 31 villas behind the Heatherdowns office in a development they called Heatherlake Commons. The development was started in about 2000 – about the time that Salsberry Real Estate Co. was sold to Danberry – and the 1,662-square-foot villas were all sold by 2008.

Tom & Tom was the general contractor as well as the designer of the villas. Both men were experienced woodworkers. Mr. Salsberry had started his career doing remodeling and renovations, operating under the name Homecraft Improvements. Later he made aluminum storm windows, using the Homecraft Industries name.

He designed several homes for his own family and in the 1970s and ’80s they moved almost every other year on average, into new homes that he had built or renovated. Most were traditional colonial homes in the Maumee, River Road, and Toledo Country Club areas.

In 1976, The Blade featured the saltbox home that Mr. Salsberry designed on Townley Road with the goal of making it look like an 18th-century house. It had specially made poplar moldings for chair rails in every room and the walls were painted an off white to give a whitewash effect.

Mr. Salsberry and his wife, Barbara, collected antiques and were putting a collection of kerosene lamps and candle holders in the home, which had several fireplaces.

Mr. Salsberry was born April 24, 1934, to Vern and Mary Salsberry and grew up in South Toledo.

He graduated from Libbey High School in 1952 and married Barbara Brown, a 1951 Libbey graduate, who operated Barbara Brown’s Dress Shop at 24 N. 3rd St. in Waterville in the 1980s. She died in 1995.

He married Sharon Skala, a banker, in 1998. They later divorced.

Mr. Salsberry enjoyed poker and golf and he kept a boat on the river for years. But his biggest enjoyment always seemed to be sales, be it real estate or antique jewelry. “There’s probably still stuff on eBay right now,” his son said.

Surviving are his daughter, Tam Salsberry; son, Todd Salsberry; four granddaughters, and four great-grandchildren.

Visitation is 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Coyle Funeral Home and services are at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. The family suggests tributes to the charity of the donor’s choice .

This is a news story by Jane Schmucker. Contact her at: or 419-724-6050.

Funeral Home

Coyle Funeral Home
1770 S Reynolds Rd Toledo, OH 43614
(419) 865-1295

Published in Toledo Blade on Oct. 24, 2016

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