Emma L. Vanichek, age 92, of Willard, Ohio passed away Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at the Laurels of New London in New London, Ohio. She was born November 7, 1928 in Willard, Ohio to the late Yohan and Katie (Proksa) Vanichek. She was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church in Willard. She was formerly employed at Pioneer in Willard, the Depot in Shelby, AMF in Shelby and was in the Civil Defense Program. She enjoyed working with the youth where she coached softball and bowling. She bowled in the Nationals for several years and was in the Bowling Hall of Fame in Willard, and had played semi pro fast pitch softball. She was the first woman on the Willard Fire Department, under Chief John Yacob and served under 5 different fire chiefs, helped start the Fire Cadet Program and volunteered for the Fire Department and Rescue Squad for the City of Willard for many years. Emma also volunteered at the care centers in Willard where she played the harmonica and dressed up as a clown and was known as "Lillypad" along with her duck Harold. She loved to travel with her great nieces and nephews all across the US. The family would like to thank the Laurel's for their special care, especially Monica Robinson, and the Southern Care Hospice of Ontario.
She is survived by special friends and caregivers, Mary Burns and Bill Burns and several nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Yohan & Katie (Proksa) Vanichek; brother, John Vanichek; 2 sisters, Anna Littrel and Mary Armstrong.
Visitation will be Saturday, May 1, 2021 from 10:00 to 11:00 AM at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Willard, where the funeral service will be Saturday at 11:00 AM with Rev. Janet Wittenmyer officiating. Masks and social distancing are mandatory for Emma's visitation and funeral service. Burial will follow at the Greenwood Cemetery in Willard. Memorial contributions may be made to the Willard Firefighters Association. Online condolences may be made to www.secorfuneralhomes.com.
Linda Prater - May 11, 2021
Prayers for her loved ones-May God give you comfort and peace through this hard time.
Penny Mastron Howell - May 4, 2021
Sending love and prayers to all Emma's family and loved ones. I will never forget her smile. Such a great lady .I know you are making heaven brighter.
Sue Ditz - May 4, 2021
Joe and I are so sorry to hear of Emma’s passing. We enjoyed working on the department with her. Emma was my softball coach in junior high and my son Chris’ bowling coach. She was such a kind and compassionate person.
Susan Young - May 1, 2021
Emma was my cousin, like a big sister, and my friend.. She was always there when my mom, Theresa Young or my Grandma, Theresa Schiffel, or my dad needed her. She and Mary Burns would come, every time the squad was called for one of my family, and keep everybody calm. Emma, we love you and we know that heaven is brighter since you got there! I can hear the polka music from here in TN.!!
Mick O’Brien - Apr 30, 2021
Very sorry for Emma’s passing. She is a great lady and will be missed.
Sherry Long - Apr 30, 2021
What a wonderful person! I so enjoyed working with her when she ran squad and I worked at the hospital....long time ago, but good memories!
Paul Hill - Apr 29, 2021
You have my sympathy. We played at the nursing homes once a month for 18 years, and what a delight and blessing it was when Lilypad came walking in. You could see how all the peoples faces lit up and she would walk around and meet them and dance with them.
Jim & Jackie Ratliff - Apr 29, 2021
What a very special lady and will be missed by many. Rest In Peace Emma. 🙏🏻🙏🏻
Don Shirey - Apr 29, 2021
Emma was the best ! Always happy to see you and give a hug,RIP Emma you are loved
Mindy Utz - Apr 29, 2021
My deepest condolences.
Newman & Darlene King - Apr 29, 2021
Mary and family,Oh what can I say. Emma and Mary Took me under their wings when I first came onto the Willard Fire and Rescue and helped me learn the ends and outs of being an EMT and Firefighter. Both of them were so fun to work with. I don't know why but Mary and Emma gave me the nickname Maude. I don't know if that was a good thing or not but it caught on with everyone in the dept.Emma and I took many transports with patients back in the day (when we did those) to other hospitals. We had the best times. She always had the best stories on our way back home. She never met a stranger. She loved working with kids also. Dear Emma,you will be missed by many people. R.I.P. rest easy dear friend and Lilypad the clown. Everyone enjoyed you being a clown. Darlene-aka Maude.lol
Judith sifelj - Apr 28, 2021
What a great lady. Thank you for such good memories as we grew up.
John M. Schiffel - Apr 28, 2021
Fond memories of cousin Emma taking me fishing at the local river as a child, so many years ago. Peace, Mary.
Janet Dawson - Apr 28, 2021
So sorry to hear of Emma’s passing. She was a person with a good ❤️.
Larry and Yvonne Fowler - Apr 28, 2021
Heaven is definitely bright and lively today when Emma was welcomed home. Our sincere condolences to family and friends. Emma was one in a million. Emma and Mary taught out girls to bowl and have fun doing it. Our prayers are with you all.
Cindy ( Phillips) Lynch Dell'Eva - Apr 28, 2021
Heaven sure has a sweet addition. Emma touched so many lives. I'm smiling now remembering the squad transports with Emma and Mary.
CONNIE MONTGOMERY - Apr 28, 2021
When the Lord calls our loved ones home, he leaves a gift of memories in exchange. Hold on to those memories and let them guide you during this time of sadness.
MELODY (Heydinger) MERGENTHALER - Apr 28, 2021
Emma knew no stranger! I loved talking to her at the office. She was a Hoot to be around! I loved her clown stories and singing! Sending big hugs to Mary and Bill! May she Rest In Peace! 🙏
Linda Veletean - Apr 28, 2021
What a sad loss the community has suffered. She touched everyone’s life that she met. My deepest sympathy to Mary and all of Em’s family.
Robert L Rees - Apr 28, 2021
Mary, and family, sorry for your loss, Emma was an awesome person! I have some good memories to cherish from years back! Sending you sincere condolences from myself, dad and mom as well, God bless, Rees family.
Brenda Whiteside - Apr 28, 2021
RIP. Prayers to Mary , family & friends. Sorry for your loss. Enjoyed Emma playing her harmonica and eating with mom at the Laurels.
Terri Bays Schmidt - Apr 28, 2021
Vanichek family, I am so sorry to hear of Aunt Emma’s passing. She was such a wonderful lady. Prayers to the entire family.
Larry and Marsha Predieri - Apr 27, 2021
Deepest Sympathy on your loss