Mary Helen Cleary Straker

June 8, 1922 ~ December 12, 2018 (age 96)

Mary Helen Cleary Straker died on December 12, 2018, in Zanesville, Ohio.


Mrs. Straker, born in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, June 8, 1922, was the daughter of the late Laura Rich Cleary and Edward D. Cleary.  Mrs. Straker graduated from Lash High School and De Pauw University where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority.  She served on the staffs of the former Zanesville Signal and the Seattle Times.  Her book, The Hills of Home, is based on family history.


Mrs. Straker is survived by her husband, J. William Straker of 67 years, her four children: Susan Holdren (Tom), Zanesville; John W. Straker, Jr. (Lynn), Wilson, WY; Jane Straker,  (Joe Humphreys), Orlando, FL; and Anne Plosser (Don), Birmingham, AL.  In addition she is survived by her eight grandchildren:  Sam Henderson, (Anna), Katy, TX; Thomas Holdren III (Arielle), New Albany, OH; Laura Brewer (Josh), Raleigh, NC; Sarah Holdren, Raleigh, NC; Jordan Chandler (Matt), Jackson Hole, WY; Wes Straker, Winston Salem, NC; Mac Plosser (Mary), Memphis, TN; and Cleary Gray Plosser, Birmingham, AL.  Her great grandchildren are Madelyn and Thomas Holdren IV, Amelia and Mitchell Henderson, Cleary and Will Brewer, and George Plosser.  She was predeceased her brother Edward Cleary (Arita) of Boise, ID.


She was a life long member of Grace United Methodist Church and an honorary member of All Around Club.  She served on the boards of John McIntire Public Library and the Zanesville Day Nursery.  Mrs. Straker had a life-long passion for reading, passing along her love of books to her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  She commissioned the statues of her four children, each carrying a favorite book, welcoming readers to John McIntire Library.


The family is grateful for the loving care Mrs. Straker received at Helen Purcell and especially wants to thank Debbie Work for her support and devotion.


The family will host calling hours Saturday, December 15, 2018, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. when the memorial service will begin, all at Grace United Methodist Church, 516 Shinnick Street in Zanesville.


Mrs. Straker suggested donations in her memory be directed to The Muskingum County Community Foundation, 534 Putnam Avenue; The Muskingum County Library System, 220 N. Fifth Street; or Grace United Methodist Church, 516 Shinnick Street, all of Zanesville, OH. 43701.


THE SNOUFFER FUNERAL HOME, 1150 WEST MILITARY ROAD, ZANESVILLE has the distinct honor of serving the Straker family.  To send a note of condolence to the family go to, find us on Facebook or call our locally owned caring staff at 740-450-8000.


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