Ellen J. Zelich

Ellen J. Zelich, age 89, of Johnstown passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 24, 2013, at the Mountain Valley Hospice House in Gloversville.

Ellen was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, on July 31, 1924, a daughter of Clement Oleszewski and Mary Rzewski Oleszewski. Her family moved to Connecticut, where she was a Class of 1941 graduate of Warren B. Harding High School in Bridgeport at sixteen years old. In her yearbook, she was described as “mild in manner, gentle in heart.”

For Ellen and Joe, it was love at first sight, and the two were inseparable. On June 3, 1944, Ellen was united in marriage to the late Joseph Zelich, who passed on September 19, 2002. Ellen and Joe worked side by side in business for most of their married life. They first owned and operated a “Mom & Pop” market, Zelich & Sons, running a cafeteria open 24/7, both in Connecticut and on to New York State, running a “Gentleman’s Farm” with white face heifers, over 700 chickens, horses, and other livestock among which was a very large pig named Esther. They also raised and sold Christmas trees, and Ellen also grew and harvested from huge vegetable gardens.

During that time, Ellen and Joe acquired “The Dixie Grill” and continued to work side by side with Ellen in the kitchen and Joe behind the bar. When they sold “The Dixie,” Ellen wasn’t ready to retire and went on to be a school crossing guard and continued until age 84.

Mrs. Zelich is survived by three sons, Joseph (Robert Messina) Zelich, Mitchell (Susan) Zelich and Stephen (Wendy) Zelich, one daughter, Suzanne Zelich; three sisters, Anne Fisher, Sophie (Sergei) Guden and Stasia Schroeder; three grandchildren, Christopher (Cary) Zelich, Corinne (Shawn) Cotter and Michelle Zelich; four great grandchildren, Hayden, Colin, Hunter and Brady, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Private services will be held at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mountain Valley Hospice, 108 Steele Avenue, Gloversville, NY 12078.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Barter & Donnan Funeral Home, 1 N. Melcher Street, Johnstown, NY 12095.

Condolences to the family may be made online by visiting our website at www.agcolefuneralhome.com.

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