Charlotte Zawodny, 85, of Toledo passed away Tuesday, January 11, 2022 at the ProMedica Toledo Hospital. She was born September 27, 1936 in Toledo, Ohio to Louis and Cecelia (Rucki) Okonski.
As an only child growing up in the Scott Park area, Charlotte attended St. Hyacinth's and Central Catholic schools. Among the neighborhood kids that hung out together, she met the love of her life, high-school sweetheart and husband of 65 years, Gerald. They married on October 13,1956, and welcomed 4 children, followed later by 6 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren and a couple of favorite furry friends along the way.
An artist, Charlotte passed her talents on to her kids, and there was always some drawing paper, a coffee can of crayons, playdough, clay, paints, flowers or something to encourage their talents (or just keep them out of her hair). One of her high school still-life paintings can still be found hanging on the living room wall.
Beyond the art basics, she was skilled at calligraphy and lettered hundreds of wedding and graduation invitations for family and friends. Every birthday card was a keepsake for its printed messages alone.
A stay-at-home mom, she always had something cooking in the kitchen for school lunches, Jerry’s work lunch box and thermos, plus cookies she’d bake from scratch, usually with a couple of kids nearby licking the bowl while watching her roll out the dough. But the best were always the homemade birthday cakes which never lacked for original decorations, including fancy icing roses and other innovative 3D decor from frosting. She was doing Snoopy-shaped cakes before Wilton ever had a pan.
She enjoyed being involved in her kids’ school activities from grade school to high school as a member of St. Hyacinth’s PTA, helping at school events and church festivals, as well as sewing many musical costumes. As the designated typist for school reports, she could often be found late nights clacking away at the old Royal typewriter while trying to translate her kids’ handwriting.
With the kids older and able to fend for themselves (mostly), she noticed a "help wanted" sign in a flower shop window while walking through Southwyck Mall, and applied on a bit of a whim. She worked the next 15 years creating beautiful arrangements, most notably at Schramm’s Flowers where she not only enjoyed the work, but especially the friendship of her coworkers and customers. Even many years following retirement she would delight in telling Schramm’s stories over dinner with family. It would be nice to hear one more.
Beyond her love of flowers, she also enjoyed being outside, whether it was bike rides through Pearson Park, feeding the ducks, watching the squirrels, simply sweeping the porch, or calling back and forth with the neighborhood cardinal. That whistling would go on for what felt like hours, and that damn bird would just keep whistling back.
Most of all, Charlotte was an amazing Busia. She loved her grandkids and was always ready to watch ballet, soccer, volleyball, choir or a musical performance. And “Busia Care” was always open for school “sick" days as she’d happily tend to the patient with drinks and snacks while they spent the day on the sofa. Grand dog Butter was also a favorite visitor, especially at dinner time when she’d give him half the food on her plate, for which he is forever grateful.
Mom and Busia, you will be sorely missed, but we know you are now resting in comfort. Not a day will go by that we aren’t reminded of the treasures you’ve given us. We all love you!
Charlotte is survived by her husband Gerald; children, Deb Zawodny, Tim (Sarah) Zawodny, Jeannine (James) Sanderson, and Jeffrey (Laurel) Zawodny; grandchildren, Rebecca (James) Gietzen, Joshua Zawodny, Rachel Zawodny, Joseph Zawodny, Brett (Amberly) Rosebrock; and Emily Zawodny; and great-grandchildren, Madelyn, Brody, and Bentley.
Visitation will be Sunday, January 16 from 2-7 p.m. at Sujkowski Funeral Home Northpointe, 114 E. Alexis Rd. with a rosary at 6 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be Monday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Hyacinth Catholic Church preceded by an hour of visitation at the church. Interment will follow in Resurrection Cemetery.
Those attending visitation and services are asked to wear a mask and respect social distancing guidelines.
Memorial donations may be given to St. Hyacinth Catholic Church. Condolences may be shared at www.sujkowski.com.
To send flowers to Charlotte's family, please visit our floral store.
St. Hyacinth Catholic Church
Parkside & Victory, Toledo OH 43607