Gladys V. Zemen 1924-2018
CANTON — Gladys Virginia Wakefield Zemen, 94, died Tuesday, Dec.11, 2018, in Canton, where she was recently residing with her daughter.
Gladys was born Aug. 30, 1924, in Harlan, Ky., to Albert Zevonzo Wakefield and the former Bessie Mae Tillery.
Gladys and her four siblings were raised in the Harlan County, Ky., coal-camp communities of Benham and Mary Helen (Coalgood), where their father worked as a coalminer.
After graduating from Harlan’s Hall High School, Gladys moved to New Orleans, La., and worked as an executive secretary during the World War II years. In the late 1940s, she moved to Girard to care for her parents. She met her future husband at a dance at the Avon Oaks Ballroom and married William R. “Bill” Zemen on June 19, 1954. They resided in Mineral Ridge and raised three children.
Gladys taught her children to love the arts, history and reading by exposing them to museums, concerts, historic sites and libraries from an early age. Gladys was the best “Homeroom Mom” at school and she learned to drive to shuttle her children to Scouts, sports and church. She was a longtime member of the Mineral Ridge Church of Christ. Gladys was proud of her Southern (North Carolina and Tennessee) heritage and researched her family tree extensively as a member of the Trumbull County Genealogical Society in Warren.
Gladys was preceded in death by her parents; husband; and siblings, Lester E. Wakefield, Paul A. Wakefield, Pauline A. Hopkins and Edna L. O’Neill.
She is survived by daughter, Allison G. Zemen-Davis of Canton; son, Dale A. Zemen of Mineral Ridge; and daughter, Elaine C. Arick and son-in-law, Gregory S. Arick of Randolph. She is also survived by granddaughter, Laura E. Davis (Michael Stone); step-grandsons, Benjamin S. (Tiffany) Arick and Christopher M. Arick; three great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. Although separated in age by 90 years, “Gigi” had a special bond with great-grandson, Callum M. Stone, age 4, and will be sorely missed.
A private cremation has taken place. Gladys complained for over 60 years about “flat Ohio,” and so her ashes will be returned at a future date for an interment and memorial service within view of her beloved Kentucky mountains. Condolences can be shared with her family online at www.heritagecremationsociety.com.
Arrangements were by Heritage Cremation Society, 330-875-5770.