AUSTINTOWN - A private celebration of life will be held for Connie Wilkos, born Nov. 12, 1936, in Williamsburg, Ontario, Canada, who passed peacefully on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, at AustinWoods Nursing Center in Austintown. Connie was surrounded by her family and friends after suffering a long battle with dementia.
Connie met her late husband, Michael “Mickey” Wilkos, at Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada while Mickey was on leave from the Army. She married Mickey on July 29, 1961, in Struthers.
Connie was a devoted wife, loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
She had a passion for bird watching, animals, gardening, and loved classic movies. She enjoyed dancing and the music of Frank Sinatra. She attended Jazz Festivals, where she fell in love with the music and great jazz singers, especially Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday. Connie enjoyed reading and loved to vacation at the beach. She was a free spirit, independent thinker, and often challenged conventional wisdom on topics ranging from religion, politics and social norms.
After her three children entered college, Connie worked at Crago Veterinary Clinic, where she was able to satisfy her passion and love of animals. She was a proud Canadian, keeping her status as a Canadian citizen her entire life.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Michael, who passed on July 28, 2017; and her parents, Anson O. Barclay and Ivalene Merkley Barclay, both of Ontario, Canada.
She is survived by her children, Christine (Mike) Minnow of Canfield, Rebecca Babyak of Naples, Fla., and Michael Wilkos of Columbus. She is also survived by two grandchildren, Michael P. Minnow of Boardman and Mason Minnow of Canfield; a great-grandson, Hunter Minnow of Canfield; and a sister, Gerry Peet and brother-in-law, Raymond Peet of Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada.
The family would like to acknowledge the comforting care provided by the nursing staff of AustinWoods and Hospice Crossroads during her prolonged illness.
She touched the lives of those fortunate enough to know her and she will be sadly missed by all.
In lieu of flowers, tax-deductible donations can be made to the Animal Charity Humane Society or the Mahoning County Public Library.
Professional arrangements were handled by the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Boardman-Canfield Chapel.