Florence ‘Sharleen’ Cotopolis
June 17, 1934 - November 12, 2022
Sharleen Cotopolis, 88, died peacefully on November 12th after a short illness, surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
Sharleen lived a humble Christian life providing comfort and solace to others while asking for little in return. Along with her husband, Bill, they taught their children Christina, Bill Jr, Jimmy, and Stephanie loyalty, compassion, and dedication to family and friends. Sharleen was born in New Philadelphia, OH as the only child of Wanda Barnish and Lindo Mari. Her mother, Wanda, later moved to Canton and raised Sharleen as a single mother with loving care and adoration during the Depression Era. Sharleen grew up on Warner Rd., attended St. Anthony’s Primary, and graduated from Timken Technical High School in 1951 with a concentration in Secretarial Skills.
At age 19, Sharleen became a half-sister to Linda Sisson (Mari), of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Sharleen was loved and admired by Linda, and when the age disparity narrowed later in her life they became very close sisters, sharing many special visits and sister time, until Linda’s premature passing in 2012.
After high school, Sharleen was employed by the Hoover Company in the secretarial pool. She met her husband, Bill Cotopolis, upon his return from the Korean War. He swept her off her feet at the Meyer’s Lake Ballroom dances, and they married in February 1954. They were married for 54 years. Their lives focused on raising four children and hosting many Cotopolis and Mari gatherings at Fox Hill Circle where all were welcomed and loved.
Bill Cotopolis had five siblings - and Sharleen was embraced by five sisters-in-law who were loving and supportive to one another throughout their lives. The many Cotopolis nieces, nephews, and their children enjoyed time with Sharleen and knew her as a sweet, non-judgmental ear and loving supporter. Sharleen was the last surviving spouse of this generation. Sharleen was also the oldest grandchild of the Mari family and leaves behind many adoring cousins and family friends. She especially enjoyed her June 22nd cabin weekend with the Mari girls, where she was given a t-shirt titled ‘Leader of the Cousin Crew’. She adored her Goddaughter, Barbara Shumick of Savannah, GA, and any visit or phone call they shared together lit up her day.
More than anything Sharleen loved her children and grandchildren. She never missed a dance recital, Greek dance performance, ice hockey game, soccer game, baseball game or Nutcracker performance, when given the chance to attend.
She is preceded in death by her husband Bill Cotopolis in 2008, daughter Christina Sklavenitis in 2018, and son Bill Cotopolis Jr. (Tracy) in 2019. Although her heart was broken by the untimely deaths of her children, she relied on her strong Christian faith to find joy and purpose to move forward for her son, Jim Cotopolis, and daughter Stephanie Bologa (Jim) of Simsbury, CT. Her grandchildren brought her much joy, and throughout her life she dedicated much time to help nurture them: William (Dub) Sklavenitis (children: Alexandria, Christian), Artemis Sklavenitis Nikolaou (Dino), Natalie Darr (Joshua; children: Ilana, Luella), Kara Cotopolis (daughter: Grace), Victoria Cotopolis (Jesse), Julianna Bologa, Madeline Bologa, and Evan Bologa.
The Fehn family helped care for Sharleen as a child while Wanda worked many jobs to support her. Sharleen remained best friends with Dorothy (Fehn) Weaver for 85 years. They were more like sisters than friends. Sharleen, Bill, Dorothy, and Paul Weaver spent many years camping, traveling, and raising their children together. Sharleen and Dorothy took a trip of a lifetime together to Austria and Germany with Dorothy’s daughter Debra Brown and her son Stephen. Sharleen considered Debra Brown (Kim) a third daughter and loved her deeply. Later as widows, Sharleen and Dorothy dedicatedly cared for each other as only life-long friends could do.
Bill and Sharleen were good neighbors and befriended many including Donna and Wayne Collingwood and Bill’s “little buddy, Jared”. At the same time, Bill began a morning ritual of grabbing a cup of coffee where he met Don Hagger at the corner of 55th and Market Ave. Don and Dorothy Hager became wonderful friends of Bill and Sharleen and have been immensely supportive and loving friends to this day. In 2006, Sharleen and Bill moved to Wanda’s home on Washington Blvd. to help with her care in her ailing years. Bill passed within two years of this move after a battle with cancer. Sharleen remained on Washington Blvd. supported by her son Jimmy and her loving, caring neighbors Anna and Rick Juneman and Lisa and Jim Williams until the time of her passing.
Sharleen enjoyed Bible Study with many of her sisters-in-law and ladies of the Greek community, especially Josephine Broel (Sarasota, FL) who became one of her best friends. For many years, Sharleen and Josephine scouted and supported many new Christian Churches and Faith Ministries until Sharleen committed to worship with Pastor Mike of Faith Family Church, North Canton, OH. Although Josephine moved to FL, she and Sharleen remained loving, supportive friends. In the last few years, she looked forward to the monthly meetings of Silver Liners at St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church with her social companion Carol Capocci. She truly enjoyed the luncheons and entertainment.
It was rare to see Sharleen without her perfectly set blond tresses. She enjoyed her weekly visits to Ms. Mary’s Hair Salon on Cleveland Ave where Mary B. and her staff set and teased Sharleen’s timelessly blonde hair into her signature style. For almost 50 years, Mary has done Sharleen’s hair and she performed the final set for internment this week.
She enjoyed travel to Simsbury for holidays and any opportunity of side trips to Boston, MA or New York, NY for sight-seeing. She especially enjoyed her trip to Cape Cod, MA to observe the island life of her niece, Jessica Sisson Foremen (Steve) and great grandniece, Veronica.
In lieu of flowers, please consider monetary donations to St. Haralambos Greek Orthodox Church – Silver Liners on Sharleen’s behalf. Funeral arrangements at Rossi Family Funeral Home are on Friday, November 18, 2022. Viewing hours will be from 10:00 - 11:00 AM with an 11:00 AM service, followed immediately by internment at Forest Hill Cemetery.