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71106obit: Mary Jo Sims Zabcik

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  • Rosemary Ermis
    Jul 22 2:40 PM

      Mary Jo Zabcik, 88, of Tyler and formerly of Corsicana, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009, at Grace Care Center of Houston. A beloved widow and mother, sister, sister-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, and a friend to many entered into Gods kingdom after suffering from congestive heart failure due to complications from a recent surgery.


      Mrs. Zabcik was born in Temple on Aug. 11, 1921. As a young child, she had a passion for music, particularly the piano. In 1943 she graduated from Mary Hardin-Baylor University majoring in music education. She married Edwin J. Zabcik on March 21, 1944, and began her career teaching music and marching band to high school students in Giddings. Her ambition as a private piano teacher began in Woodville where she also served as the full-time organist for First Baptist Church. Following her husband’s job transfers, she served as the accompanist for First Baptist Church in both Palestine and Paris, Texas. Her career also expanded to teaching elementary music from 1958 to 1968 in both Texas locations. In 1968, Mary Jo moved to Corsicana and taught grade level classes for several years with CISD.


      After retirement, she taught private piano, served as a pianist for her Sunday school class, and enjoyed singing with the Solid Rockers of First Baptist Church in Corsicana. In her later years, her greatest joy was providing piano accompaniment for various nursing homes throughout Corsicana. While in Corsicana, Mrs. Zabcik was also an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma, Kinsloe House, The Literary Club, Texas Retired Teachers Association, National Association of Retired Federal Employees, and a supporter of the Mary Hardin-Baylor Alumni. Favorite pastimes included playing the piano, working crossword puzzles, singing in the church choir, and staying in touch with friends. She was most proud of two awards: International Hall of Fame of Music Guild of USA and the Alumni Award from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Mary Jo was a faithful and longtime member of First Baptist Church in Corsicana. After relocation to Tyler, she joined Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler and became an active member of the singing group Highest Praise.


      She was preceded in death by her husband, Edwin; and parents, Joe and Mary Ann Sims.


      Survivors include her daughters, Eleanor Barnett and her husband Dick of Tyler and Libby Risinger and her husband David of Houston; four grandchildren, Jonathan Barnett and his wife Kathy from Sunland, Calif., James Barnett of Pretoria, South Africa, Colin Risinger of Houston and Melanie Risinger of New York; one sister, Kathryn Rose Sims of Dallas; one brother-in-law, Clarence John Zabcik and his wife Elaine, also of Houston; and numerous nieces and nephews.


      Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8, at Corley Funeral Home. Services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, at First Baptist Church in Corsicana with the Rev. B.F. Risinger Jr. officiating and assisted by Brother Bill Honea. A 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, graveside service has been set at Bellwood Memorial Park, 8575 Airport Road, Temple. Pallbearers will be Dick Barnett, David Risinger, John Barnett, James Barnett, Colin Risinger and Melanie Risinger. Flowers are appreciated or contributions can be made to the music department of First Baptist Church of Corsicana. Arrangements by Corley Funeral Home.


      Corsicana Daily Sun - Corsicana, TX