Beloved Islander, John Anthony Zanella, died Sunday, December 12, 2004 . Always known as Johnny, he was born August 22, 1943 in Grand Rapids , MI . He was the son of John Anthony Zanella, Sr. and Virginia T. Young, both deceased.
Johnny fell in love with Beaver Island as a child and bought his first piece of property along King's Highway as a young man at the age of seventeen with the hopes of someday making Beaver Island his permanent residence.
He attended Ferris State University in Big Rapids, MI for three years where he pursued psychology as his main area of study and research. However, he left his college career to answer what he considered a bigger and more important calling.
During the Vietnam War, Johnny recognized his patriotic duty and volunteered for service in the United States Army. He proudly served three years where he earned the rank of SPC-5 and the job title of Mess Sergeant.
After his military service, Johnny went to work with his father in the family flooring business in Grand Rapids , MI . He eventually took over the business and ran it for over a decade.
On August 22, 1997 he married Ann Margaret Bomers, originally from Grand Rapids . They were joined together on top of the south end lighthouse by long time family friend Rev. “Slim” Bailey. They have lived happily together on the island ever since.
Along with his wife Ann, Johnny is survived by his four children and sister. His children include: John Carl Zanella, Molliejo Virginia Zanella, Patrick Lee Zanella, and Rosemary Wittemore. His only sibling is Maryann Zanella of Clarksville , MI . He was expecting his first grandson, appropriately named John Anthony Zanella, in April 2005.
Johnny was a longtime member of AMVETS Post 46. He participated in various AMVETS functions including regular pancake breakfasts. He utilized his experience as Mess Sergeant to assist in the kitchen.
Johnny Zanella was laid to rest at Holy Cross Cemetery Thursday, December 16, 2004 . AMVETS Post 46 members officiated with military rites, including prayers, Taps, and a presentation of the American flag to Johnny's wife Ann.
He was a loving father, doting husband, patriot soldier, and loyal friend. He valued truth, honesty, dignity, and respect. He strived to live by these principles providing an example for his children to be proud of. He was a solid member of the Beaver Island community and will be greatly missed by all those who knew him. We will forever feel the loss of John Anthony Zanella Jr. and will proudly and lovingly remember him.
Well I'm pretty much all done with Christmas shopping. Last week covered not only medical appointments, but braving stores - the thing I like least. Started out the entire process with a beautiful flight and upon landing I told my folks I'd go get the car and they could stay in the terminal building where it was warm. Like most parents who don't listen to their kids, my dad grabbed his suitcase as soon as the luggage cart arrived and headed out the door. Now I was busy getting my red car and didn't notice that he wasn't where I thought he would be. It seems Kendra Wojan had pulled up in front of the building - also driving a red car - and popped her trunk. Dad didn't look, he just saw a red car with an open trunk and was ready to toss his case it but got quite a jump start on his adrenalin level when two manikin heads rolled forward. Needless to say, he was quick to scurry back into the terminal and left the suitcases at the door. A few minutes later I arrived and noticed that he gave MY trunk a once over before putting anything in it. Then we were off to the motel to get ready for some marathon shopping before their appointments. First stop was Walmart. Unlike other years when I needed a GPS system to find the store from the 3,143 square mile parking lot, this year my Dad had a handicap permit so we had high hopes of finding something nice and close to the door - NOT, didn't happen. Every cotton-picking handicap spot was taken by vehicles who didn't have stickers which added to my already heightened blood-pressure (just the idea of Christmas shopping had originally brought it up). I dropped them at the door and drove around the parking lot for what seemed like an eternity before finding an empty slot. Finally, in the door. Now when my dad and I shop, (keep in mind we only do that under extreme pressure) we run in, grab what we want and get the heck outta there. Not so with my mother, I think she holds the world record for aisle wandering. Dad and I found what we wanted and then set off to find Mom. Oh man, in a large store with at least 9,254,657,425 demented, happy holiday shoppers it takes at least 2.5 hours to find someone. Next time we're going to implant a homing device on Mom. We finally pried her out of the store and headed back to Charlevoix for some much needed dinner and rest.
Monday was a rainy day and they both had doctor appointments so the morning was taken up with that. By one o'clock we were ready to set off and tackle the Charlevoix stores. Arrgghhh! Every handicapped spot at K-Mart was taken so it was another scenic drive around before finding an open slot. Do those folks ever get ticketed?? This time hours spent in the store were minimal and I think Dad and I handled it well. We only whined, "are you done yet?" eight or nine times. Dinner was at Nanny's which we'd really looked forward to only to discover it's been sold and almost all the nifty antique decorations have been removed because according to our waitress, "the new owner thinks they looked too cluttery". That was always a large part of the charm of Nanny's.
Tuesday morning was Mom's surgery so the entire morning was spent at the hospital. Just a note of info for those who encounter the cafeteria at the Charlevoix Area Hospital, do not try the bagels. We made the discovery that this is the source of where bagel chips, or hockey pucks, come from because they are too dang hard to bite, break, or cut. Dad commented that perhaps a small band saw might be handy. After Mom was released into our gentle clutches we deposited her and my sister, Ruthie, at the motel while Dad and I headed back to Petoskey in a downpour. Now we did our type of shopping. A stop to get saw blades sharpened, a stop at a yarn shop to pick something up for Mom and that was it. The best kind of shopping - in and out, get what you want and leave without scorching your credit card.
Now I'm home and have all this loot to wrap since I didn't pay the stores to do that job for me. I have decided that it can't be all that hard and anyone can do it without a lot of effort. All you need is a sturdy box. If the gift didn't come with one, hunt around in your closet for one from last year or check at the grocery store since nothing is funnier than watching cousin Thelma start to open her gift and see a box that says 24 cans of prune juice before discovering that the box is just part of the wrapping. Your gift doesn't quite fit in the box? Just cram it in, try turning it sideways and then quickly shove the top on. Top won't stay down? Use duct tape! It's common knowledge that the whole world is held together by duct tape. Heck, if you run out of wrapping paper you can cover that entire box in duct tape making it silver and just add a red bow. This works especially well on a gift for a young kid since we all know they only play with the box anyhow. A duct taped box for any kid on your list can make that gift last and last.. it might be mid-August before they get it open. Finding a box too hard? Gift bags are nice too. They even make holiday decorated ones or you can just go pick up a box of Glad trash bags and toss in some crumbled newspaper and stick a bow on it... works for me, in fact the bag thingy is even easier than the duct tape not to mention cheaper. Keep in mind that it's the thought that counts, at least that's what my mother says, and I always listen to my mother.... except when she says, "just once more through Walmart."
I'm selfishly using my bandwidth to wish my mom, Lil Gregg, a happy 80th birthday today - December 13th. Please join me if you don't mind, either verbally or just in thought. Happy Birthday Mom!
We're meeting at the town Christmas tree on December 23rd at 6:00 p.m. to hang ornaments, sing a song or two and then go Christmas Caroling! Dress warm and bring your best holiday smiles for our shut-ins. Call Michelle at 448-2201 or Cindy at 448-2705 if you have any questions. Brought to you by the: Beaver Island Youth Consortium and Girl Scouts
Friday, December 10th was the annual Grandparent's Day at the Beaver Island Community School and as usual there was a good turn-out. Children who don't have grandparents on the island were adopted for the afternoon. Lunch was served and entertainment provided. Special thanks go to Ruthie Gregg, who took my camera since I was at the library.
The new fire hall on the east side is going up. The floor was being prepped for pouring on Saturday when these picutres were taken. According to Chief Tim McDonough the east side station will be finished long before summer 2005 arrives and, it is hoped, will house three trucks and an ambulance. It is located across from the Bill Wagner Memorial Campground on Sand Bay.
Please consider this update to be the normal Monday one as I will be at the library on Monday and Tuesday. Thanks.
Page Two of the News on the 'Net