BROWNHELM TWP. - Valentine Zelnik, 89 years of age, and a resident of Brownhelm Township, passed away Wednesday, March 5, 2014 at his home following a lengthy illness.
Valentine was born in Lorain and graduated from Lorain High School. While enlisted with the United States Marine Corp. he was trained in communications at Texas A & M University. Brownhelm has been his home for the last 56 years.
He worked for U S Steel for 43 years retiring as a gas rescue safety instructor. He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church for 57 years. He was involved in Junior Achievement, served as a Catholic School instructor (CCD), a member of the vincentian order at St. Joseph Church, and a eucharistic minister. He served the community as a first aid instructor as well. He was a member of the Lorain County Beekeepers Association. He was an avid gardener and sold much of his produce at his fruit stand. He proudly served his country in the US Marines for 8 years as a staff sergeant during WWII and the Korean Conflict. During his time in the military he served with such notable people as Ed McMahon, Jonathan Winters, and George Steinbrenner. As a communications specialist for the Marines he also worked as a NCOIC at Cherry Point Hostess House, NC.
Survivors include his wife of sixty-five Elizabeth H. Zelnik (nee: Kertesz); his sons Theodore Zelnik, Alexander (Renee) Zelnik all of Amherst; his daughters Elizabeth (Scott) Meacham of Ponce Inlet, FL and Eleanor "Fran" (Thomas) Fraley of Palm Coast, FL; eight grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; four step great grandchildren; his brothers Dominic Zelnik of Lorain and Richard Zelnik of Concord, GA.
Valentine was preceded in death by his son Valentine in 1997; his siblings Charles, Robert, Michael, and Rev. Ronald Zelnik, Eleanor Natkus, and Elizabeth Garrett; and his parents Dominic and Anna Zelnik (nee: Mihalek).
Friends may call Sunday, March 9, 2014, from 2-5 p.m. at the Hempel Funeral Home; 373 Cleveland Ave., Amherst. A mass of Christian burial will be held Monday at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 200 St. Joseph Dr., Amherst. The Rev. Fr. Lawrence Martello, pastor, will officiate. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Amherst Ohio.
The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to The Lorain County Beekeepers Association, c/o Dave Williams, 11923 Green Rd., Wakeman OH 44889 or the Brownhelm 4H Club: In Memory of Valentine Zelnik, c/o Jennifer Westover, 9404 Joppa Rd., Vermilion OH 44089.
Additional information and online register book are available at www.hempelfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Morning Journal on Mar. 8, 2014