IN MEMORIAM: Mary ‘Terri’ Zabohonski Gay

by Jane Ahrens

Terri (Mary) Gay age 94, passed away in her home on November 13th, 2021, surrounded by family. Born on February 4th, 1927, the beloved daughter of Helen and Henry Zabohonski. She was very proud of her Fishers Island, New York roots.

Strongly opinionated and spirited, her advice and quips could be very “colorful”. She always rooted for the underdog, hated bullies, and did not suffer fools. She was generous with her compliments to everyone, showed her affection freely, and always said “I love you”. Her sense of humor became more apparent in later years… and she said a lot with those eyes! Quite the lover of fashion, she always dressed in scarves, funky jewelry, perfume, and her famous sunglasses!

Very artistic and crafty, our home was always decorated with color and pizzazz. She set a beautiful table and was a good cook. She enjoyed entertaining family and friends often. A terrific mom and fun-loving wife, her home was filled with lots of love, acceptance, laughter, good food, and drink. Good at poker/cards, loved golf, gardening (Garden of the Year Twinsburg), enjoyed travel, casinos, and family beach vacations. She enjoyed her kittens and was a nature and animal lover. But above all – She never missed an opportunity to stop and “love on” any baby or child who crossed her path.

Terry was born on Fishers Island, NY, as was her sister Jane. Their parents were Polish immigrants, he was a carpenter who built several homes on the Island while also a lobsterman. Terry always talked about her childhood and was very proud of her roots. She remembered The Hurricane – (presumably of 1938). The girls were at school when the hurricane hit and their father went looking for them, returning home the next morning with both daughters to the great relief of their mother who had spent a long night alone. The Zabohonskis moved off the island after experiencing the Hurricane and eventually came to Cleveland, and settled in Twinsburg, OH. A picture of Fishers Island was still on her bedroom wall when she passed away.

She was preceded in death by her wonderful husband, of 50 years, Bob.

Survived by her dear sister, Jane (Janowitz); son, Martin (Golembiewski); daughter, Susan (Gay); Aunt to Diane, Madeline, Joe, Al, Joan, and Robert; and adopted Grandma to her Sweet Amanda, Luke, and Bruce.

Please join us on Sunday, December 12th, Noon to 5:00 pm, to celebrate her life and share your stories, 2626 Burridge Circle Twinsburg, Ohio 44087. Please contact us at with any questions. In lieu of flowers, mom’s favorite animal charities were Forever Friends Foundation (Northfield, Ohio) and Happy Trails (Ravenna, Ohio).

We want to extend our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to our friends at Heartland Hospice for their care and support.

Published on where a message can be left, and The Plain Dealer

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay. Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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