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Barbara Ann Zakrajsek

BARBARA ANN ZAKRAJSEK (nee Kogut) age 65, beloved wife for 46 years of Andy; loving mother of Jason (wife Kim) and Chris Zakrajsek; devoted grandmother of Cameron, Chloe, Andrew and Charlie Zakrajsek; cherished daughter of the late John and Irene (nee Echon) Kogut; dearest sister of John, Robert, Sharon and the late Jean Kogut; fond sister in law of Marion “Marty” Charvat (husband Dean); adored aunt of Jill, Lisa, Malachi, Gabe, Achsah, Lindsey, Josh, Kelly, Kim and Karen; dear great-aunt and friend of many.

Barbara was a dedicated wife and stay at home mom. As her kids became older, she went back to college to study art. She worked in newspaper advertising and sales for a short while. When her son Jason opened his Chagrin Falls Kuk Sul Do Academy, Barbara came on as the business manager and was a fixture at the front desk. She ran the day-to-day business, meeting and greeting all students and signing new students up for classes. She absolutely loved her position and worked there for 18 years. Barbara adored the friendships she made through the Academy and interacting with all the kids and parents; they were like an extension of her family. Her dog Molly held a very special place in her heart. Barbara and Andy are truly dedicated grandparents. They adopted their grandson Cameron when he was only five years old. Raising Cameron to be the fine young man he is today became Barbara’s focus and pride. She was a tremendous cook and shared her love for food and new restaurants with her son Jason. Everyone in her family looked forward to her holiday meals. Her kids’ childhood friends and her now daughter in law Kim, grew up cherishing her famous oxtail soup and other ethnic family recipes.  She always continued to grow and experiment with different cooking techniques and fresh ingredients. Barbara took cooking classes with Michael Symon and Loretta Paganini. It was important for Barbara to visit new restaurants with her son or husband Andy. She had a true appreciation for food and its power to bring people together; it was a pillar of her family. One of Barbara’s greatest pleasures in life was boating with Andy. They would boat in both Marblehead and Cleveland. Over the years, they would spend almost every weekend of the summer on that boat.  She would say it was like living a vacation. All year long, Barbara would look forward to her annual family vacation to Rodanthe North Carolina where she would simply relax on the beach, enjoy the ocean and connect with her grandkids. It was her happy place. Barbara and Andy were notorious for jumping into their car and taking impromptu or at least frequent trips; Toronto, New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Florida and the Carolinas to name a few. They were inspiring to so many because they lived like teenagers; deciding on a Thursday to leave and ending up in Florida by Saturday with the top down on their car. They were always on the go, taking adventures with each other, eating good food and truly loving life. Not only was Barbara adored by her family, she was the mom that her kid’s friends wanted to hang out with and talk to about their problems. She was nonjudgmental, very cool and an amazing listener. Barbara will forever be missed.

Contributions may be made in memory of Barbara to Geauga Humane Society Rescue Village 15463 Chillicothe Rd, Novelty, OH 44072. Cremation by DeJohn Crematory. Family will receive friends to pay tribute to and celebrate the life of Barbara at THE DeJOHN FUNERAL HOME & CELEBRATIONS CENTER OF CHESTERLAND 12811 CHILLICOTHE ROAD (Rt. 306, just south of Mayfield Rd.)  FRIDAY November 16, 2018 4-8 PM. Private services and burial will take place at a later date.


Memorial donations may be made to the charity of your choice.

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Condolence Messages

  1. You will miss her. Keep her memories close to continue her celebration of life. Thinking of all of you.

  2. I am so very sorry. I am holding each of you n my heart.

  3. Jeff and Stephanie Weemhoff Familsy

    We are so sorry to hear of the passing of Barbara. I so enjoyed getting to know her and loved running into her at different places. What a wonderful person with a wonderful zest for life. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  4. Lori & Fred Shafer

    Cherish all of your beautiful memories always. Our hearts are with you.

  5. Karen and Phil Morrison family

    We are so sorry for your loss. I have many fond memories of Auntie Barb. She will be missed.

  6. She was a joy to be around! The minute she saw you, she beamed a genuine smile. She always had time to chat and share a kind thought. I enjoyed reading about her love of food. That explains a lot! Sending you all love and peace.

  7. Remembering the family and your time of sorrow. May the support of family and friends be a source of strength and the God of comfort a refuge in your time of need. Thoughts of piece.

  8. She probably didn’t even know it, but she helped me through some tough times simply with her kind words and smile. I will treasure my memory of Barb.

  9. She was a beatiful kind woman . Batb was a living angel on earth and now she is in heaven. Our prayers are with you and your family. God Bless

  10. Frank & Nancy Dedek

    Dear Andy
    It was so sad to hear about Barb’s passing. Frank and I are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.
    Bless you.
    Frank and Nancy

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