John M. “Johnny Zee” Jakubec, 96, a Perrysburg restaurateur and community volunteer, died Monday at his home in Toledo.
He became sick about six weeks ago and had a seizure, daughter Pamela Cook said, adding that he did not make a full recovery.
Mr. Jakubec owned and operated Zee’s Restaurant in Perrysburg for more than 28 years before retiring in 1974.
Ms. Cook said she remembered her father’s restaurant as a place that offered a taste of home cooking, with meals made by her mother, Eleanor Jakubec.
“My mom had home-cooked soups and meals, like you’d have on a Sunday, and it was popular for the area businesses,” she said.
Ms. Cook said in the early days, customers could buy lunch for $1.35.
“They had a regular crowd that came in and followed Dad through the business,” she said.
Before starting the restaurant, Mr. Jakubec owned a carryout in Perrysburg.
“He’s really been in the food business his whole married life,” Ms. Cook said.
Mr. Jakubec was born on March 27, 1917, in Coral, Pa., to Frank and Eva Jakubec. He married Eleanor Schramm on Nov. 2, 1940. He served in the Army during World War II. Ms. Cook said her father achieved the rank of first sergeant and was a rifle instructor.
Along with owning a restaurant, he and Mrs. Jakubec were active community volunteers.
“They’d go to the Sunshine Children’s Home in Maumee, dressed up like Big Bird and Cookie Monster,” Ms. Cook said.
Mr. and Mrs. Jakubec were also strong supporters of baseball and softball and sponsored Perrysburg leagues in each sport for more than 20 years.
Ms. Cook said her father’s personality was also notable.
“He was just a happy-go-lucky guy — very giving and caring,” she said.
Mr. Jakubec’s nephew, Bill Romp, said his uncle was a tried and true businessman.
“I just remember him as a great businessman. He ran a successful business and was very involved in the community and he was a wonderful brother to his five sisters. We were really a very close family,” he said.
In addition to traveling to Florida during retirement, Mr. Jakubec played racquetball until he was 80, Ms. Cook said.
“He gave the younger guys a run for their money. He always took good care of his health his whole life,” she said.
Mrs. Jakubec died in 2003. Surviving are his daughters, LaVonne Green-Branch, Sharon Hill, and Pamela Cook; eight grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, Perrysburg. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday in the mortuary.
The family suggests tributes to Gentiva Hospice.
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