NORTH LIMA, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Richard “Zeke” Zelanka, 77, passed away on Friday, August 26, 2022 at Assumption Village. 

Richard, known by family and friends as “Zeke,” was born April 28, 1945 in Youngstown, Ohio, a son of the late Joseph and Norma Benini Zelanka.

A lifelong Youngstown and North Lima resident, Zeke was a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, Class of 1963.

After graduation, he served in the United States Army during the Vietnam Era.

Upon his honorable discharge, he returned to the area and worked for A&P Grocery Store for several years. In 1972, Zeke began his nearly 50-year career as a long-haul truck driver, being an owner and operator for the majority of those years. 

When not on the road, Zeke’s passion was drag racing his car at Quaker City Motorsports Park. More recently, he enjoyed volunteering at St. Anthony’s Church, making the original Briar Hill pizza and attending Common Ground Church Community. He will be forever remembered for his big heart and willingness to help anyone in need. 

He leaves to carry on his memory, his wife, the former Shirley A. Scott, whom he married July 6, 1991; children, Roy (Tabatha Stanley) Oliver of Struthers, Anthony Oliver of Toccoa, Georgia, Shannon (Kelly) Oliver of Youngstown, Richard J. (Elizabeth) Zelanka of Youngstown, Melinda Kay (Jim) Harney of Hobart, Indiana and Wilbur Berrier of North Lima; sister, Glendine Karr of New Port Richey, Florida; 21 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and his dog and loyal companion, Peter. 

Family and friends will be received on Friday, September 2 from 4:00 – 5:45 p.m. at the Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home, 270 N. Main Street, Poland, where a funeral service will follow at 6:00 p.m. 

In honor of his love for animals, memorial tributes may take the form of contributions to Angels for Animals, 4750 W. South Range Road, Canfield, OH 44406.

Visit to share memories and condolences with the Zelanka family.

A television tribute will air Wednesday, August 31 at the following approximate times: 7:10 a.m. on FOX, 12:22 p.m. on WKBN, 5:08 p.m. on MyYTV and 7:27 p.m. on WYTV.