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1950 Wayne 2024

Wayne Zapka

October 23, 1950 — February 9, 2024

      On Friday, February 9,2024 in the early morning hours Wayne Zapka died unexpectedly and peacefully while resting in the comfort of his favorite chair.

Wayne Steven Zapka was born at home on October 23, 1950 by special delivery, as he was the last baby delivered by his maternal grandmother Anna Miklas, a prominent mid-wife in Youngstown. She wrapped him in a necktie and proudly presented him to his father first and said, “This is your son!” For many years Steve and Christina (Miklas) Zapka raised their only son to be proud of his Slovak heritage and Lutheran faith practiced at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Mahoning Avenue.

The young Zapka family initially lived on the westside of Youngstown on Cherry Hill, and moved to Collins Ave in Austintown where Wayne attended Austintown schools and graduated from Austintown Fitch High School in 1968.  His work ethic remained unequalled as he was employed at US Steel and Republic Steel (Warren) while attending YSU.  Prior to college graduation, he married Denise Lasko (his “Honey Pot,” “Chief Boss,” and “Blondie,”) on October 10th 1970. They  recently celebrated their 53 years of marriage. Wayne graduated from YSU in 1973 with a degree in Electrical Engineering and became Electrical Maintenance Supervisor at General Motors in Lordstown, retiring in 2008.

This industrious son, father, grandfather, and friend was easy to love.  He possessed a contagious laughter that accompanied his ability to share stories.  Clayton and Colton (Wayne’s grandsons) recall Pap Pap’s silly saying:  A “pull through” (referring to a car and a parking space) is “Clean Livin!” or the time when Pap Pap removed his new shirt at the Thanksgiving table: “I don’t want to dirty it!” Besides engaging others with great memories, Wayne participated in his community often adding to a wholesome existence.  He could be seen in his younger years playing an accordion or a harmonica, later, volunteering at Wedgewood Swim Club, attending meetings at Sulgrave Masonic Lodge, spending time with his family at the lake house in Andover, hunting, attending sportsman shows, parking cars at Greenwood for the Corvette Club, and attending class reunions.

Wayne leaves his wife Denise (Lasko) Zapka, his daughters Suellen Zapka, Stefanie Zapka, grandsons Clayton and Colton, and four dachshunds: Gabby, Liebe, Eins, and Zwei.

In Wayne’s honor, a memorial service was held at Higgins Reardon Funeral Home (Austintown Chapel) on Monday, February 12, 2024. 

The Zapka family appreciates and thanks family and friends for their support and condolences at this difficult time.  Anyone wishing to honor Wayne, please do so by contributing to Yellow Brick Place (2959 Canfield Road Unit 10 Youngstown, Ohio 44511) or Angels for Animals (4750 West South Range Road Canfield, Ohio 44406).

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wayne Zapka, please visit our flower store.


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