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Zifko, Sophie A.
SOPHIE A. ZIFKO
Sophie A. Zifko, age 81, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday morning, October 21, 2008, while surrounded by her family. Sophie was the beloved Mother of Monica Zifko, of Warren, Ohio, and Georgette M. Zifko-Baliga, Ph.D., of Munson, Ohio and the beloved and cherished Grandmother of Preston Baliga, a recent graduate of Case Western Reserve University and Georgette C. Baliga, who is a Junior at Beaumont Catholic School. She is preceded in death by her husband, George V. Zifko, who died in 1990, and the Outlaws.
Sophie was born in Orwell, Ohio, to Polish immigrants, John and Mary (Ciaston) Mistak, on March 14, 1927. At age 8 she moved to Colebrook Township to a house built by her father where she remained the rest of her life. She graduated from Colebrook School in 1945. After high school, she worked and contributed to society before she married George V. Zifko of Kinsman, Ohio, on October 14, 1950. In the 1950s, besides working, they ran a dairy farm and had two children. Sophie yearned to teach and so she started college in 1962. She taught school during the day and attended college at night. From Kent State University, she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Education, a Masters of Science degree in Library Science and she became additionally certified as a Media Specialist. Sophie was a highly respected first grade teacher within the Maplewood School District in Greene, Ohio. She then became the Media Specialist and Head Librarian for the entire Grand Valley School System. After her retirement, she taught at Corinth Victory School part-time.
Aside from her educational career and family life, Sophie found time to pursue many interests including a rich religious life. She was a member of St. Mary's Church in Orwell where she sang in the choir and was a member and past president of the Daughter's of Mary. She was also an extensive traveler. She made trips to all 50 states, most of which were with her family. She also sent post cards back from India, Lebanon, Costa Rica, United Kingdom, North Africa, Canada, Mexico, and Bahamas, while traveling with either her family or Kent State University. Her interests were varied and many; a perfect example was when she entered and won a stock picking contest sponsored by the Warren Tribune Chronicle. She beat out many professionals much to their chagrin and was bemused by that.
She loved life and all its opportunities to use her many talents. But her true loves for the past 19 years were her grandchildren, Preston and Georgette Catriona. Her eyes would shine and spirits soar whenever she spent time with them. Her pride and love for them was matched only by their returned love and admiration for her. Her grandchildren, as well as her daughters, were fortunate enough to spend many happy years creating endless happy memories together.
Sophie was a cherished family member to a lucky few and a friend to all. She touched many people outside her family including her long time friends, caregivers and even passing acquaintances. People always described her as a sweetheart, a treasure, or as so many said, "I just love her." As the much beloved and respected matriarch of the family, she will be sorely missed but kept alive in our hearts and in the many ways she changed us all.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Friday, October 24, 2008 at St. Mary's Church, Orwell, OH, with Rev. Gregory Fedor officiating. Burial followed in Colebrook Township Cemetery. Services were handled by Baumgardner Funeral Home, Kinsman,OH. Guestbook available at www.baumgardnerfuneralhome.com.
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