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Zella Emma Mickunas

April 4, 1925 ~ July 11, 2019 (age 94)

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MARYSVILLE, WA - Zella Emma Mickunas, age 94, a former Salem resident died Thursday, July 11, 2019 surrounded by loved ones in Marysville, WA.  Zella was loved beyond measure and will be missed greatly by all who knew her. 

Zella was the oldest of three children, born April 4, 1925. Zella’s parents, Daniel and Mary (Pavelica) Rayniak immigrated to Salem from Czechoslovakia in the 1910s. Zella and her family lived and worked at the Slovak Club for many years until moving to a home on Prospect Street before she graduated from Salem High School in 1943.

At the age of 20, she met and married the love of her life, John T. Mickunas. John and Zella resided on Cleveland Street and lived there together for 50 years. It was here that they would also raise their daughter, Karen. Zella was a homemaker and attended St. Paul Catholic Church. She also enjoyed being a part of a ladies bowling team, having coffee every morning with her sister, yard work, watching the Cleveland Indians, driving too fast, and the occasional Fuzzy Navel during the holidays. 

Her husband, John, whom she married January 19, 1946, preceded her in death February 6, 2008. After John’s death, Zella moved to Marysville, WA and spent 11 years close to her daughter, granddaughters, and great grandchildren. While Zella was never a fan of the weather in Washington, she was able to live with her daughter, attend her grandchildren’s milestones, and watch her great grandchildren grow. She always looked forward to Sundays when her family would get together for a family dinner. It was on these days she would enjoy giving her great grandchildren rides on her walker (in which she always kept a package of Oreos), rubbing in the Buckeye’s Rose Bowl win over the Washington Huskies this year, making wise cracks at the dinner table, and of course, satisfying her sweet tooth with dessert!

Zella is survived by her daughter, Karen Friesen of Marysville; two granddaughters, Megan Hayford (married to Mike Hayford) and Stephanie Friesen; two great-granddaughters, Madden and Mackenzie Hayford; and several nieces and nephews.

Besides her husband and parents, Zella is preceded in death by her sister, Betty Farcas and her brother, Milan (Danny) Rayniak. 

Services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Thursday, July 18, 2019 at Stark Memorial Funeral Home in Salem with Father Robert Edwards officiating.  Burial will be in Hope Cemetery. There are no calling hours.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Salem Visiting Nurses, ‪718 E. 3rd St., Suite A, Salem, OH 44460 or to the Salem High School Alumni Assoc., 328 E. State St., Salem, OH 44460.

Zella’s obituary may be viewed, and condolences sent online at

To send flowers to Zella's family, please visit our floral section.


Funeral Service
July 18, 2019

1:00 PM
Stark Memorial
1014 East State Street
Salem, OH 44460


Salem High School Alumni
330 E. State St., Salem OH 44460

Salem Visiting Nurses
718 E. 3rd St., Suite A, Salem OH 44460

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