John E. Zelenak

BRACEVILLE – John Edward Zelenak, 83, of Braceville, passed away peacefully to eternal life on Sunday, May 11, 2014, at at his home.

Ed was born on Jan. 30, 1931, in Newton Falls, the son of Michael Zelenak and Mary Kasnik Zelenak.

Ed married the love of his life, Dorothy “Snookie” M. Davis, on July 9, 1954, and were blessed with 57 years of marriage before her passing on May 6, 2012.

He received his formal education from Newton Falls High School, graduating in 1949.

Ed farmed with his father until he was drafted in 1954. He then joined the U.S. Army and proudly served his country in Germany from 1954 to 1956.

After being honorably discharged from duty, he found employment at Grinnell in Warren, working in the Pipe Department for two years. Ed then found a job at Ohio Edison, where he worked for the next 37 years as an electrician leader, and retired from there in 1993.

In Ed’s spare time, he loved working for the James Funeral Home as an assistant since 1994.

Ed was a faithful member of the Braceville Christian Church for many years. Gardening was one of Ed’s favorite things to do.

Organizations where Ed was active included the following, Newton Falls Masonic Lodge 462, where he was a 32nd degree Mason Scottish Rite in Youngstown, and was active with the Retired Masons group. Ed served on the credit committee for 27 years for Insta Credit Union. He was an active member of the Farm Bureau. Ed was an adviser for 4-H Royal Riders, where he supported his sons. Ed served on the zoning board for 30 years in Braceville. Ed and his wife also delivered Mobile Meals for more than 10 years.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy “Snookie”; his parents; one sister, Ann Zelenak; and two brothers, Michael and Andrew Zelenak.

Memories of Edward will be carried on by his daughter, Mary Kay (William) Van de Graaff of Burr Ridge, Ill.; his sons, Mark D. (Tammy) Zelenak of Poland, John David Zelenak of Southington; his grandchildren, Justin (Amy) Wagner, Jordan (Andrea) Wagner, and Robert, David and Michael Van de Graaff; and his great-grandchild, Nora Wagner.

There will be a Masonic service at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. The family will receive friends following the Masonic service from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the James Funeral Home in Newton Falls. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Braceville Christian Church.

Ed will be laid to rest beside his wife at the Braceville Cemetery in Braceville.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Braceville Christian Church, 4387 Church St., Newton Falls, OH 44444. 330-469-6998.

Arrangements are being handled by James Funeral Home, 8 E. Broad St., Newton Falls, OH 44444 330-872-5440. Family and friends may view this obituary and send condolences to Ed’s family online at

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