Obituary: Charlie Jean Harris Zlobik (02/02/22)

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Charlie Jean Harris Zlobik, 80, of Port Charlotte, Fla., and formerly of Blytheville, died Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, in Venice, Fla.

Charlie was born in Blytheville to Gordon Vance and Ethel Elma Blankenship Harris and graduated in 1959 from Blytheville High School. She was a high school cheerleader and was always the life of the party. Charlie went on to earn his Bachelor of Education from Ouachita Baptist University.

Charlie began her teaching career at Luxora Elementary in 1968, and also taught at Braggadocio, Mo., and finally at Blytheville Elementary School. She taught first grade and was dedicated to being the best teacher. She was best known for her book “How Connie the Elephant Got Her Scarf”. In 1973, his first-graders knitted the imperfect 12-foot Green Scarf. On St. Patrick’s Day, Charlie and his students traveled to the Overton Park Zoo to present the elephant named Connie with their imperfect knitted scarf. In years to come, his students knitted a mat for President Clinton’s cat, Socks, and a scarf for President Reagan’s dog, Lucky. Charlie retired from teaching in 1996 shortly after his mother’s death.

After retiring, Charlie moved to Florida for the warmer months. She met her husband, Tony Zlobik, in 1999 and they got married in 2005. Her life totally changed and she and Tony enjoyed going on cruises. They have been on a total of 98 Carnival cruises. Carnival cruise ships were Charlie’s favourites. She has truly become “Carnival Queen”. She and Tony always wore matching clothes and they became the couple to meet.

She never had any children of her own. However, she had hundreds of children whom she guided into the world of reading, writing and arithmetic. On one of Charlie’s cruises, she met a young student named Sarah, and they hit it off from the start. Sarah viewed Charlie as her mother and Charlie viewed Sarah as the daughter she never had. God does wonderful things.

Charlie couldn’t always be near his family after his mother’s death. After many years, she and her two sisters were finally able to be together in May 2018. Delores Ann Warren and Patty Sue Hudson were with Charlie for several days at Delores’ home in San Angelo, Texas. Husbands Tony Zlobik, Tom Hudson and Bill Warren were there together to support the Harris sisters. Dolores died the following year.

She was very talented and expressed herself through writing. For one of her class reunions, she wrote a poem and delivered the seven-minute poem to her classmates in a sweet, memorable, and descriptive voice, all from memory. Charlie quoted this poem to almost everyone who listened and most had moisture in their eyes afterwards.

Charlie loved everyone and that love was returned to him. His warm, kind and sincere conversation was always touching and attracted many people to his friendship.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her sister, Delores Ann Warren; and aunt, Veatrice McDearman.

Charlie is survived by her husband, Tony Zlobik of Port Charlotte, Fla.; sister, Patty Sue Hudson of Bluffton, SC; cousins, Rodney Nation of Hot Springs Village and Reggie Holstead; brother-in-law, Bill Warren of San Angelo, Texas; two nephews, William Patrick Warren of San Angelo, Texas, and Thomas Gordon Hudson of Los Angeles, California; niece, Karen Mikel Warren of Watauga, Texas; great-nephew, Finn Thomas Hudson; grand-niece, Amelia Adelaide Hudson; and his spiritual family, Lynn, Jan and Jim McManus.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, February 2 at 2 p.m. in the Cobb Funeral Home Chapel with Bill Sullivan officiating. The burial will be private. Family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until time of funeral at Cobb Funeral Home. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, face masks are required to enter the building. Condolences can be expressed to the family at www.cobbfuneralhome.com.


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