Erma Louise Kontul passed peacefully at sunrise on September 20, 2022, surrounded by her loving children and her devoted pet Max. In her 102 years Erma made the sun rise for many, especially for her loving husband, Edward Kontul Sr., who preceded her in death after a half-century of what many would describe as a fairy tale marriage. They were inseparable and lived life to the fullest.
Erma grew up in Uniontown, PA and was part of Greatest Generation moving to the big city of Cleveland during WWII. She became a true “Rosie the Riveter”, working for a war plane manufacturer while attending Cleveland Cosmetology Academy, organizing blood drives, and writing to the boys fighting overseas.
It was in Cleveland where she met the love of her life, a blonde sailor home on leave. They married shortly after the war and began living the American Dream. Together they built a legacy of strong family traditions raising seven children: Cyndi, Gary, Michael, Donna, Edward Jr, Dale, and Dean.
Her husband launched Great Lakes Diesel Company moving the family multiple times as the business grew throughout Ohio. Erma became masterful at setting up a loving home while keeping her children grounded in faith, family, the values of togetherness and hard work.
When the children were grown, Erma became a successful entrepreneur in her own right, owning two beauty salons. And with her husband owned and operated a successful family business. The Anchor Inn, restaurant, inn and jazz club became a Columbus landmark. Her finesse in business was uncanny, one minute she would be advising on business issues of the day, the next she would be baking her own pies, creating recipes with her sons, negotiating with suppliers, and training wait staff.
After selling the property to the Marriott the couple retired to Florida for several years to enjoy the sunshine, travel, fishing, and golfing. They returned to Ohio to be close to their grandchildren.
Celebrating the joys of her family and supporting her husband was everything to Erma. She was a beautiful engaging woman, with abundant wit and charm as well as a natural born athlete, avid golfer, and all-round sports fan with an uncanny flair for home making and business.
Even at 102, she never lost her beauty, charm nor sense of humor. She was a woman for every age, a singular sensation, and a universal role model; not only to her 17 grandchildren and her 13 great-grandchildren; but to anyone that was fortunate enough to meet her. To know her was to love her.
There is a special place in heaven for a mother of seven. Her love of family, joy of life, indomitable spirit and strength will be her life-long legacy to her family and world of friends across generations. She passed after a long fulfilling life and while we lost a matriarch on earth another angel has arrived in heaven.
Erma’s loving son, Gary, predeceased her. She is survived by her devoted children and their families; Cyndi (Kevin dec’d.) Walsh, Michael Sr. (Susie), Donna (Rick) Eurich, Edward Jr. (Gretchen), Dale (Jennifer Wheeler), Dean (Judy), and cherished by 17 grandchildren: Ryan, Michael Jr., Benjamin, Donna Marie, Molly, Christina, Michelle, Daniel, Jessica, Edward III, Kayla, Carly, Joseph, Natalia, Kristian, Juliana and Angelene, and 13 great grandchildren. Erma was a loving mother figure to Ron Lake, a dear aunt and an inspiration to countless others.
The family will be receiving guests starting at 9:30 a.m. preceding a funeral mass, which begins at 10:30 a.m. September 30, 2022, at Saint Joan of Arc, 10700 Liberty Road, Powell, Ohio 43065. https://stjoanofarcpowell.org/
The funeral mass will be followed by a reception for family and friends at the church from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The interment will be a private service for immediate family only.
A heartfelt thanks to Summit Hospice for the care and support they provided to Erma and her family.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be given to:
• St. Teresa’s Outreach – St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church
• Alzheimer's Association
• Blue Knights of Ohio V: Contact Ed Kontul Jr.
• K9 for Warriors
• National Hospice Foundation