McAuley Alumnae Blog

McAuley High School, Toledo, Ohio

Jeanne Taylor Prater ’75 passed away. Sister to Kathy ’62 and Mary Ellen ’67

Posted by mcauleyhighschool on February 6, 2019

Jeanne M. Prater(1957 – 2019)

(News story) Jeanne M. Prater, a persuasive and likable Blade advertising sales representative who secured new business for the newspaper and, as a supervisor, paired sales staff with compatible customers, died Sunday in her Maumee home. She was 61.

She had breast cancer, first discovered in 2007. Treatment and then remission followed. She and her husband, Ron Prater, moved to South Carolina after she retired in 2014. Cancer was found again in January, 2017. She returned to the Toledo area to be near her sisters and her friends from The Blade, her son Danny said.

“She was a continual beacon of positivity,” her son said. “She was brave. She was courageous. She didn’t want anybody to worry about her. She didn’t complain about her problems.”

Mrs. Prater was a marketing major at the University of Toledo, from which she received a bachelor of business administration degree in 1980. She took some finance courses, her husband said, but “Sales was her natural niche. She was so outgoing and personable,” he said. “She was good at it from the get-go. She was a likable individual. She presented herself well. She was engaging.”

During a summer, 1980, advertising internship at The Blade, Mrs. Prater filled in for sales representatives on vacation. The Blade hired her that fall. To start, her duties were split between local display sales and advertising services, where she was a copy clerk.

“She fell in love with the romance of the newspaper business, and she knew it was going to be a great opportunity,” her husband said.

She became a full-time sales representative in 1985, Blade records show. She was named an outside classified supervisor in 1993, and in 1996 a retail advertising supervisor. She returned to the sales force in 2005 as an outside retail sales representative.

“Jeanne developed the entire east side of Toledo into Blade customers and expanded it out,” said Ron Shnider, a Blade advertising consultant. “She developed accounts in Perrysburg, Rossford. There was a new source of revenue for us.

“She was conscientious and aggressive. She was concerned about their business and concerned about the people as people, not just a customer,” said Mr. Shnider, who retired as Blade new business development manager. He added that those customers referred to her by name, not by the generic, “my Blade rep, my Blade person.”

As a supervisor of sales staff, she also made sure “the right people were calling on the right places,” Mr. Shnider said. “If I had to pick a most-valuable person in the advertising department, it would be Jeanne Prater.”

She served on union subcommittees working to develop an equitable commission plan, and she advised news union members, said Jeff Hojnacki, a former treasurer of the Toledo Newspaper Guild.

“She believed in union principles,” said Mr. Hojnacki, a retired Blade district manager. “People looked up to her.”

For about two years in retirement, she was a sales assistant at the Myrtle Beach Sun News. She liked to play golf, and she liked to watch NASCAR events.

She was born May 8, 1957, to Veronica and John Taylor. She grew up in South Toledo and was a graduate of the former McAuley High School.

Surviving are her husband, Ron, whom she married Oct. 16, 1982; sons, Russell “Rusty” and Danny Prater; brothers, Michael, Jim, and Tom Taylor, and sisters, Kathy Taylor and Mary Ellen Taylor.

A gathering to celebrate her life will be from 3-7 p.m. Thursday at the Elks Lodge in Maumee.

“She didn’t want people to enter into it with a mindset of sadness. No mourning,” son Danny said. “She wanted it to be happy and for old friends to reconnect.”

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Joseph Church, Maumee.

The family suggests tributes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation or the American Diabetes Association.

This is a news story by Mark Zaborney. Contact him at mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.


Published in The Blade on Feb. 6, 2019
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