Gladys Mae (Early) Samay, 88, of Ashtabula died November 9, 2019, leaving behind a husband and four children who know she was the nicest person they ever met. Born on February 2, 1931 in Negley, Ohio, Gladys was a graduate of Darlington Joint High School in Darlington, Pa., and attended Geneva College. She worked as a payroll clerk for the Herriott Trucking Company before her marriage on May 20, 1961 to the great love of her life, Tom Samay. They moved to Ashtabula in the mid 1960s, where they raised four children. Gladys was a joyful and non-stop singer, gardener, reader and seamstress/quilter who grew up listening to the Pittsburgh Pirates but eventually switched allegiance to become an avid Cleveland Indians fan. She happily attended her children’s countless extracurricular activities first at Edgewood Senior High School, then at Mount Union College, and beyond. Gladys worked at the Edgewood McDonalds for several years before accepting a job as financial secretary at East Side Presbyterian Church, where she was an active member for nearly six decades. She good-heartedly enjoyed her husband’s endless wandering/exploring/vacationing and in their retirement looked forward to annually wintering together at Fernandina Beach, Fla. She held several key volunteer roles for East Side Presbyterian, as well as serving as a founding member and board member for the Samaritan House in Ashtabula and as an advisor for a local 4-H club. She was active in the Buckeye Music Boosters and Lincoln Elementary School PTO. She was proud to be a direct descendent of Thomas Rogers, a Mayflower passenger. Gladys was proceeded in death by her parents, John and Marie Early; and her four older sisters, Laura Renn, Evelyn McKenzie, Eileen Nicely McKean, and Marjorie Seiber; as well as many brothers- and sisters-in-law. She is survived by her loving husband of 58 years, Joseph Thomas Samay; her four children Michele (Tim) Coss of Dublin, Mindy (Rick) Hardy of Lancaster, Melanie (Tony) Nigro of Bath, and Rob (Sandy) Samay of Strongsville; grandchildren David, Johnathan and Jamie Coss, Delaney and Richard Hardy, Kaitlyn Scala, Amanda Barrett, Anthony Nigro, Amanda Rumer, and Brittany and Bret Samay; her brother- and sister-in-laws George and Beverly Samay of Alliance; and more than a dozen beloved nieces and nephews. Of special note, Gladys is also survived by a several special friends here in Ashtabula and a group of her husband’s high school friends – all of who held a special place in her heart. Visitation will be Saturday, November 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fleming and Billman Funeral Home, 526 West Prospect Road, Ashtabula, with funeral services beginning at 1 p.m. Interment to follow at Edgewood Cemetery, 4011 State Road, Ashtabula. Family will welcome family guests afterward at East Side Presbyterian Church, 3440 Edgewood Drive, Ashtabula. In lieu of flowers, we invite you to donate to the charity of your choice or to Crossroads Hospice Charitable Foundation, 10810 East 45th St., Suite 300, Tulsa, OK 74146. Visit www.fleming-billman.com to share memories or extend condolences.
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