Date of BirthJune 24, 1939

MARY ANN ZENDER Obituary

Date of BirthJune 24, 1939

244 Views

Date of PassingOctober 30, 2016

MARY ANN ZENDER Obituary

from Charleston, Florida, United States

MARY ANN ZENDER LAKELAND - Mary Ann Zender, 77, passed away on Sunday, October 30, 2016. She was born on June 24, 1939, in Tiffin, OH to Arthur and Lillian Nepper. Mary Ann married Bryce Zender on August 23, 1963, in San Francisco, CA. Their only child and daughter, Kira was born March 19, 1969, in Kalamazoo, MI. Mary Ann graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1961, with a degree in elementary education. She taught, developed and administered programs for preschool and elementary children in Ohio, Michigan, California and Florida in her 30-year career in education. For the last 20 years of her educational career, she worked for the Polk County Opportunity Council (PCOC) in Bartow, FL where she developed and wrote grants to help the poor and disadvantaged children and adults in Polk County. Mary Ann was particularly proud of her involvement in the efforts of minority community leaders and the support of the late Senator Lawton Chiles that led to the establishment of the current Head Start Program in Polk County. She wrote the successful grant and served as the Head Start Director during the early stages of the program. When Mary Ann retired from PCOC, she gave her time and energy to another cause, historic preservation. For the last two decades of her life, she worked tirelessly to improve the Lake Morton Historic District. Mary Ann helped to organize the Lake Morton Neighborhood Association and wrote its first constitution and bylaws. Later, she served on its board and wrote its grants. In addition, she served on the City of Lakeland Historic Preservation Board. Inspired by a visit to Charleston, SC, Mary Ann and her husband developed the Lake Morton Bed & Breakfast and successfully operated it for a decade or so until they finally retired in 2008. In addition, Mary Ann was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church and the Auxiliary for the Catholic War Veterans. She is survived by her loving husband of 53 years, Bryce; her daughter, Kira Zender; Kira's husband, Simon Coffin; and their daughter, Vivian, who live in Decatur, GA. In addition, Mary Ann is survived by her brother, Robert Nepper and his wife, Pat Nepper of Fremont, OH. Mary Ann was preceded in death by her parents; her favorite aunt, Barbara Starns; and three nieces, Mary Nepper, Kay L. O'Donnell and Debora Wyka. Bryce and his daughter, Kira, wish to thank the nurses and caregivers for their kind care of Mary Ann at the Lakeland Regional Medical Center and the Highlands Lake Rehabilitation Center. Also, we owe a debt of gratitude to the Cornerstone Hospice Team who made Mary Ann's final few days peaceful and comfortable. A memorial Mass will be said by Father Ramon Bolatete on Saturday, November 19, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at St Joseph's Catholic Church, 210 West Lemon Street, Lakeland, FL 33815. Interment will be at a later date at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Food Pantry for the Needy, St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 210 West Lemon Street, Lakeland, FL 33815, or the Catholic War Veterans, Post 1917, 820 Cumberland Street, Lakeland, FL 33801. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.heathfuneralchapel.com .
This obituary is administered by:
~ Steven Arevalo ~

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