YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – John Joseph Zuzan, Sr. passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Monday, January 11, 2021 at St. Elizabeth Boardman.
He was adopted as an infant and the only child of Michael and Mary Zuzan who raised him on the west side of Youngstown.
He worked hard in the family’s west side store and on his Uncle John’s farm growing up. He had a very colorful life and was a born entrepreneur owning and operating many businesses, including a carpet sales and installation store that took him all over the country and offering him security clearance to install on military bases. He owned the Ritz Bar in Campbell where he welcomed famous guests, such as comedian and actor, Redd Foxx and soul singer, Ben E. King. He briefly even worked as a private investigator.
John had a deep love for all animals and always had a dog by his side; for a period of time, he also had a pet monkey. He was previously a licensed pilot and flew small planes just to say he could. When his kids were young, he took his family on trips in motorhomes, campers and on cruise ships.
He was the original football coach for South Side Catholic; he organized the merger of St. Stan’s and St. Pat’s football teams; and he also coached the Hardhats. He lived his life to the fullest. He didn’t know how to save a penny, all of his wealth was deposited in his heart and memories.
John leaves to cherish his memory his son, John (Renee) Zuzan, Jr. and their children, Gabriella (Austin Connelly) Zuzan, Abbie (David) Bosak, Jonah Zuzan and Justin Zuzan; his grandaughter, Jennifer Sharpe and her mother, Virginia Sharpe, who was his best friend; his oldest son, Bruce (Lauri) Zuzan and Bruce’s son, Brian and his only daughter, Kim Sasso and her daughter, Crystal.
In November 2019, he was excited and blessed to meet his biological half-sister, Rita Fabrey; his niece, Renee Fabrey Johnson and his grandniece, Skye Johnson. He was amazed to find family and family photos who looked just like him. The meeting was nothing short of magical after over 80 years of looking for answers, DNA and ancestry were the key to these gifts.
He was preceded in death by all of his adopted family, as well as his biological mother, just a few short years before finding out her identity.
There are no services planned at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A celebration of life will be held by the family at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, monetary donations may be made to any animal rescue, veterinary clinic, or animal fund of your choice in John’s name. His love of animals showed his soft and gentle nature to all beings.
Arrangements by Cremation & Funeral Service by Gary S. Silvat, Inc. Share memories or send condolences by visiting www.cremateohio.com.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Joseph Zuzan, Sr., please visit our floral store.
A television tribute will air Sunday, January 17, at the following approximate times: 8:58 a.m. on WKBN and 7:58 p.m. on FOX.