ELEANOR M.” TOOTIE” JANASIK (nee Stakich) age 96, beloved wife of the late William M; loving mother of Jean E. Ohtola (husband Joe) and Marian M. Phillips (partner Danny Stanard), (husband Robert, deceased); devoted grandmother of Scott Lee (wife Laurie), Stacey Benitez (husband Mick) and great-grandmother of Melissa, Kevin and Nicole Lee, Mara, Gabrielle, Noah and the late Nathan Benitez; dearest sister of the late Marie Mocilnikar, Peter, Mike, Anne, Jimmy and Danny Stakich; dear aunt of many.
Born on April 13, 1919 to Tomo and Mary Stakich, Eleanor (Tootie) was the youngest of 8 children. She grew up in Cleveland in the home that her father built and ran as a boarding house. She graduated from Collinwood High School in 1938. She worked as a waitress in her sister Marie’s restaurant until she met William Janasik. He swept her off her feet with his easy going charm. They married in August of 1941 and welcomed their two much loved daughters, Jean and Marian, within the next few years. Tootie, with her husband and their two daughters, moved to California in 1952. Her brother had been killed in service during WWII. His widow, Wilma, found herself as a single parent with two girls to care for. Tootie headed west to San Diego, California, to care for her two nieces, Grace and Eleanor. She spoke often of the wonderful times she had there, living with their family in the home they shared with Wilma and her girls. She was a wonderful mother and aunt.
After Wilma was settled in her own home, the family returned to Cleveland in 1956 and she and her husband built a home in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. In April of 1963, and then again in November 1964, she had her dreams come true with the birth of her grandchildren. She was the greatest grandmother of all time – sleepovers, fishing, picnic lunches with salami sandwiches and Fritos, Go Fish, Old Maid – these are just a few of the fond memories they have.
She and her two sisters, Anne and Marie, (the Three Musketeers), would take day trips with her grandchildren and Marie’s grandchildren. All seven kids piled in the back of the old Ford station wagon with a huge bag of candy. Off to many afternoon adventures they would go; most ending with a meal filled with any food desired and gallons of coffee with lots of sugar and Tums.
In 1989, Tootie was excited to welcome her first great-grandchild. Even though she was 71, she was very active caring for Melissa and all of the great-grandchildren that followed. They all have the greatest memories of Grandma Tootie – playing cards, Saltines with butter and sugar, her attending all their baseball games, and teaching them her favorite prayer “Jesus Christ.” Like most women of her generation, she was a worker. There was a place for everything and everything had to be in its place. Cooking and caring for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren were the joys of her life.
Never loving the cold winters in Cleveland, she moved to Florida in 2010 after the death of her husband. Her sharp wit, sense of humor and unconditional love will be missed.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in Eleanor’s memory to Vitas Hospice of Naples, FL, 4980 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 102, Naples, FL 34103.
Cremation by DeJohn Crematory. Relatives and friends are invited to meet for the Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, August 6, 2015, at St. Noel Catholic Church 35200 Chardon Rd, Willoughby Hills, OH 44094 at 10 AM. Burial following at All Souls Cemetery. Family will receive friends to pay tribute to and celebrate the life of Eleanor at ST NOEL CHURCH THURSDAY MORNING 9-10 AM. Arrangements by THE DeJOHN-FLYNN-MYLOTT FUNERAL HOME OF WILLOUGHBY HILLS.
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I will miss Tootie! She has always been a welcome and fun member of the family at all the Jean and Joe get togethers! She was sharp as a tack and always had her wit about her! I love Tootie. May God bless and keep her till we meet again…
Kathleen and Bill
I am so sorry to hear about Tootie’s death. I am sure that she will be missed in your lives. I hope that you will all find moments of comfort through the difficult days ahead. May she rest in peace.
Janina & Sran Antczal
Sorry to hear sad news about Tootie’s departure from this world. Jean and Joe, please accept our deepest expression of sympathy. We know it is hard to loose your beloved Mother, especially because she was such a genuinely fine person. Perhaps it may be of comfort to you to know that during those sad days we will share your grief. We hope that faith will uphold you and all the loving memories will carry you through.
Stan and Janina Antczak
First my condolences to my Aunt Tooties family. I remember her as a wonderful, kind, precious lady who I know will be sorely missed. I wasn’t raised with Aunt Tootie, I lived in California with my mom, Helen Stakich. When Aunt Tootie lived in California we visited each other. Having family from Ohio nearby in San Diego made my mom happy. When I was looking for a Potica recipe, Aunt Tootie sent me a recipe from the Cleveland Dealer. My daughter Stephanie and I revised the recipe and now it is a mainstay in our family. My grandkids love it. In fact, they can make it themselves. When my daughters Stephanie, Lisa, their children (my grandchildren) attended the 2004 Stakich family reunion, we stayed with Jean, Tootie’s daughter. We had a great time there and were thankful what a wonderful time we had at Jean’s. Tootie invited us to watch and participate in the real thing – making a huge potica. My Aunt Tootie will always be in my heart. I am happy she will be with her sisters, husband, and my mom in Heaven. I know there will be a lot of laughing!