Salem Historical Society names Citizens of Honor





Staff report


In 2006, during the celebration of the bicentennial of Salem, 24 people were recognized as Citizens of Honor. Since then, two more people have been added to that roster each year during Founder’s Day festivities.

Information on each of the 42 honorees is featured on the board in the Pearce Building, 208 S. Broadway Ave.

The honorees for 2016 are Janice Groves Lesher and Frank Zamarelli Jr. The two will be honored April 26 during a Founder’s Day dinner.

A long-time member of the Salem Historical Society and its current curator, Lesher shares the distinction of being named a Citizen of Honor with her father, Elden R. Groves, who was so honored in 2006. Lesher grew up on the family farm on Millville Hill and helped her father show Jersey cows at the Canfield Fair. She also was a member of 4-H clubs in Mahoning and Columbiana counties, where she served as a junior leader and member of the Queen’s Court.

She graduated from Salem High School in 1954 and later from Ohio State University where she was an officer with the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. It was at OSU that she met her husband, Eric Lesher.

In 1979, the family having added a son, Andrew, and daughter, Diane, the Leshers moved back to Salem when her husband, an industrial engineer, was transferred to the General Motors plant in Lordstown.

The Leshers built a new home in Salem, and Janice Lesher worked as an interior designer and wrote an antiques column for Farm & Dairy. She also was employed at the Salem Public Library for 23 years.

Lesher joined the SHS in 1979 and has twice served as its president. She has been its museum curator since 2004 where she is responsible for accessioning hundreds of donated items, determining their display, recruiting and training docents and scheduling tours at the museum.

She served on the inaugural Salem Jubilee Committee in 1981 for the celebration of Salem’s 175th anniversary. She also was active during the city’s bicentennial and was co-editor for the bicentennial book “The Salem Story Continues.”

A lifelong active member of First United Methodist Church, Lesher served as chairwoman for two yearlong church observances and has served on the Salem Design Review Board. She also serves as secretary of the AARP, Canfield Branch.

Zamarelli was born in Salem in 1963 to Patricia and Frank Zamarelli Sr. He is a member of the Salem High School Class of 1982 and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Youngstown State University. He is a lifetime member of the YSU Alumni Association.

Zamarelli established the Salem Computer Center in 1987 and is its president. He also is a member and past president of the Salem Rotary Club and was twice named a Paul Harris Fellow.

He is a member of the Bryce Kendall Society, Salem Rotary Foundation and the Rotary International Bequest Society. He has served as the club’s service chairman since 1990 and has been chairman of the Rotary Pancake Day for 22 years. He is the club’s newsletter composer and is vice president of the Salem Rotary Foundation.

A former trustee of Salem Community Theatre, Zamarelli also is a past president of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, where he is a director of special events. He is vice president of alumni relations for the Salem Alumni Association and served on the technical advisory committee for the Salem Community Center. He has served on the board of A.I.D. as well as the Hope Cemetery Association and is a member and treasurer of the Salem High School Choir Boosters.

He is a life member of the Italian-American Club and belongs to St. Paul Church in Salem. He is past president of the Home & School Association and is president of the St. Paul School Foundation. He also serves as president of the First Presbyterian Church Preschool board of directors and also served on the Frank A. Zamarelli Sr. Jubilee Pancake Committee. He made recent donation of complete computer systems to the Columbiana Meals on Wheels Agency as well as the Salem Alumni Association.

He and his wife, the former Glory Berardi, have two daughters: Taylor, who will graduate in 2017 from Walsh University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and Brittany, a 2016 Salem High School graduate who plans to attend Kent State University in the fall.

The 46th annual Founder’s Day dinner will take place at the Salem Community Center, 1098 N. Ellsworth Ave. Dinner reservations are required by Tuesday for the April 26 event, and can be made by calling the Salem Historical Society, 330-337-8514, and leaving a message if the call is not answered.

The theme of the event is “There’s No Place Like Home,” and the evening will feature a basket auction and the homecoming of Salem native Tania Pshsniak Grubbs. She is a 1984 SHS graduate who now works and lives in Pittsburgh where she sings with a jazz quartet and is co-director of music at the Fairmont Pittsburgh and is music director for the Mansions on Fifth Hotel. She has been a featured vocalist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and performed with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, the Pittsburgh Jazz Society and the Butler Jazz Society.

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