Kathryn Zemar

Resided in Gladstone, MI
Died December 9, 2020

On December 9, 2020 Kathryn (Kay) Zemar, of Gladstone, Michigan, passed away unexpectedly at St. Francis Hospital in Escanaba.

Kay was born January 24, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Cleveland, Ohio when she was a young woman. It was there that she met and fell in love with Zolton “Zolly” Zemar. In 1981 after Zolly retired from construction, they decided to move from the big city to the beautiful Upper Peninsula. They built a house on the Escanaba River and lived happily for many years in their little paradise. She often said that she was doubly blessed that she met Zolly, and that God chose the perfect man for her. They were married for 56 years before he preceded her in death.

A good work ethic was ingrained in Kay from an early age, and she believed that anything worth having should be earned. She would fondly tell stories of her childhood horse, Golden Fury, and how she earned Golden’s room and board by cleaning out stables. Kay worked as a bookkeeper at Northern Michigan Bank and Trust before her retirement.

Kay always had a lot of energy and liked to keep busy. She was a fantastic cook and passed down many cooking tips and recipes to her family members and friends. She enjoyed playing Trash Train Dominos and various card games like Contract Rummy and Hand and Foot. She loved going out to eat with family and friends, especially at her favorite restaurant, Drifters (she absolutely adored the owners, Liza and Heather).
She was an avid church-goer and over the years spent time volunteering as a Sunday school teacher, participating in events sponsored by the Women’s Ministries, and attending Bible studies with her church ladies. Whenever Kay believed that something fishy was going on, she would give you the side-eye and say that her two favorite words were “God Knows”. She strove to stay current and keep up with technological advances and liked to spend time on her computer, tablet, and Facebook account. Unfortunately, she never got the knack of the smart phone, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Kay is survived by her brother Howard (Debbie) Pfeiler and sister Nancy (Tom) Bish; children Tami (Earl) Grandchamp, Lori Walker, and Allen Zemar; and many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Per Kay’s wishes, a funeral will not be held; however, family will host a Celebration of Life at a later date. Kay will be interred at Fernwood Cemetery in Gladstone, Michigan next to her best friend and husband, Zolly. Kay was a one-of-a-kind firecracker and will be loved and missed by many.

The Zemar family is being assisted by the Skradski Funeral Home.

10 Tributes for “Kathryn Zemar

    Oh guys, I’m so sorry to hear this. Praying for you all. Kay was loved by so many and her love for Jesus was contagious!

    I met Kay the very first time my husband and I visited New Life church in Escanaba. Several months later we moved to the U.P from down state and returned to the church. Kay met me in the hallway and made me feel like she had been waiting for me. She and Zolly took us under their wing. We became good friends and sisters in Christ. When my husband’s health forced us to move back down state, Kay continued to be an encouragement and mentor. The last time I spoke with her on the phone, we talked about being together again in heaven, reunited with our loved ones and friends. I am sure she heard ” Well, done good and faithful servant” as she was welcomed home. A piece of my heart went with her.

    I just love this woman. She was so spunky and filled with love. She absolutely loves Jesus and everyone around her. I am so glad she is with our Creator! Can you imagine what she is seeing?
    Kay Zemar will be missed here. I look forward to worshiping Him together again.

    Kay was a mentor and friend. I truly loved helping her teach kindergarten children in Sunday school for a couple of years. She has touched so many lives. So blessed to have had her as a mentor in the church. Her smile will be missed. Prayers and Hugs to her family. Rev. Allison Van Gorp

    Kay was a wonderful Christian woman who loved the Lord with all her heart. It was a privilege to know her.

    I was one of her “let’s meet at Drifters” friends and we would drink coffee, eat great food and chew on life. Most times as we were leaving the restaurant we would go through a conversation that included: “see you soon. Unless the trumpet blows first.” And Kay would answer, “then I will see you in the air.” Her trumpet has blown, much to her delight, and yet her leaving creates a void and sadness among the many who loved and cherished her. Blessings, Judy Vader

    I know that you are in Heaven with your beloved Zolly. “GOD KNOWS” your love and Faith with always be with me until we meet again.
    Love Ya Forever and Always “Sis”


    You and Zolly were family to my dad and me. You were a grandma to me. You helped raise me. You took me under your wing and spoke life-giving words of encouragement and affirmation, hopes and dreams into my little ears and heart. As I grew up I came to count on you as a safe and loving space. Through all the years of my life you have been a pillar of faith, hope, and love. You left a lasting mark on my life, and so many others. Rest in peace in the presence of your Lord, Jesus Christ. I’ll see you and Zolly on the new earth when Jesus returns!

    May the Lord bless your family and keep them, may He make His face shine on them and be gracious to them, may He lift His countenance upon them and give them His peace… just as He did for you all these years.

Post a Tribute

Your email address will not be published. Tributes are moderated before posted. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.