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313 Center St.
Phone: 419-281-2566, 1-800-430-2566
Fax: 419-281-4411
Mary Nearhood

Mary Nearhood

Monday, May 5th, 1930 - Tuesday, May 12th, 2020
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Mary Kotatis Nearhood, 90, of Ashland, passed away Tuesday morning, May 12, 2020 at University Hospital Samaritan Medical Center.
She was born May 5, 1930 in Chios, Greece to the late Dimitri and Ploumi (Karga) Kotatis.
She attended of the University of Athens, in Athens Greece, receiving a degree in Theology and Philology before moving to Ashland, Ohio in 1953. She then attended Ashland College and received her B.A. degree in Latin and English, as well as a B.S. Degree in education, in 1956. Mary went to the Ohio State University, while still teaching, earning her Masters Degree in Classical Languages, in 1988.
Mary had a great love of teaching and started teaching Latin and English in the old Ruggles Troy school system. She eventually moved to Mapleton High School, and taught French, Latin and English, retiring in 1990. In 1992 she began working at St. Peter’s High School in Mansfield, Ohio, teaching French, Latin and Spanish. She retired from St. Peter’s in 2011. During her teaching career she chaperoned more then 20 trips to Europe for her students, so that they would become familiar with different cultures.
She was a member of Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Mansfield, Ohio, and the Philoptichos Women’s Society. Mary was a member of the local Chapter of the American Association of University Women, serving as President in 1982-1983. She also served as International Chairman and Program Chairman. She was a co-founder of the honorary teacher’s society, Alpha Pi, a chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, in 1970. She was also the president of Ohio Alpha Delta Kappa for one term. She went on to join the Columbus, Ohio Chapter, Alpha Lambda, where she had a great many wonderful friends. She enjoyed traveling to various states for Regional and International conventions.
On august 21, 1955 she was married to James H. Nearhood and celebrated 64 years of marriage in 2019. She is survived by her husband, James H. Nearhood of Ashland, two daughters, Constance Anne Nearhood of Dublin, OH. And Joan Marie (David) Neff of Ashland, OH; grandchildren, James D. Neff and Christina Sobish; great grandchildren, Melody Neff, Noah Sobish, Olivia Sobish and Andrew Neff; and two sisters, Anna Mantzoros of Ashland and Angeliki Hanjidakis of Baltimore, MD.
She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Stamatis Kotatis and Nicholas Bahas.
Friends may visit with the family on Friday, May 15, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home. A service will be held for the immediate family on Saturday May 16, 2020 at Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Mansfield, Ohio with Father Michael Ellis officiating. A Public graveside committal service will be held Saturday afternoon May 16, 2020 at 1:00 p. m. at the Ashland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions may be made to Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 265 W. Third St. Mansfield, Ohio 44903.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to the family by visiting
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, May 15th, 2020 | 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Friday, May 15th, 2020 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Denbow-Gasche Funeral Home 313 Center St. Ashland, Ohio 44805
    313 Center Street
    Ashland, Ohio 44805
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, May 16th, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Saturday, May 16th, 2020 1:00pm
    Saints Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 265 W. Third St., Mansfield, Ohio 44903
    Address Not Available
    Father Michael Ellis
  • Interment

    Saturday, May 16th, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Saturday, May 16th, 2020 1:00pm
    Ashland Cemetery
    523 W. Main St.
    Ashland,, Ohio 44805
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Sidney Menough

Posted at 11:55pm
I had this is near Hood for 2 years as a French teacher at mapleton in 1964 and 65. She was a great lady and a very great teacher. When I was able to visit France in 1990 I thought of her.

Beatrice Omwomo

Posted at 12:20pm
To Jim and family,

Please accept my sincere condolences for the loss of Mary.
I will remember Mary for her kindness and generosity. Mary welcomed me warmly when I started teaching at St. Peter's High School and at her home. I still have the set of dinner plates that she gifted me when she learned that I was just starting life in Mansfield. The same year, 2008 and several others that followed, she invited me to her home for Christmas. She loved it very much and was the warmest hostess I have ever met. I am blessed we spoke on phone at length on the 25th of April, 2020. She sounded upbeat and strong as ever. The news of her death was shocking. Rest in peace Mary. We will miss you.

Tommi Johnson

Posted at 10:59am
Sincere sympathy to all the family. I met Mary at a Bible study and totally enjoyed getting to know her, and her sharing her wisdom. She was an amazing example of a life well lived, and a loss to many.

Merlyn Kettering

Posted at 02:23pm
Ζ ω η σ ε ε σ α ς .

Sincere condolences to Jim, to her daughters and grandchildren, and to her sisters.

I met Mrs. Nearhood at Ruggles-Troy High School in September 1959. For us, it was the beginning of our Senior Year; for her, she was new to ‘our’ school and she was assigned to be our English Teacher. Yes, we surely made that year a challenging one for our teachers. But, Mrs. Nearhood not only survived us, she thrived and she succeeded in teaching us. She also won respect with her passion for learning, her teaching skills, and her care and love for students. Yes, I am pleased to say I was one of her students.

Mrs. Nearhood had abundance of courage, passion and determination. She sought adventure and she conquered challenges. That year, she and Jim even dared to be chaperones for our Senior Class Trip. Years later, when I had opportunities to visit with her in Ashland, we reminisced and laughed about ‘that year’. Her ‘soybean story’ was one of the best. ‘That year’ had made lasting impressions on both of us.

After our High School Graduation in ‘60, I didn’t see Mrs. Nearhood again until eight years later. In the interim, I had gone to college and had worked for two years on an agricultural project in Livadero, Kozani, Greece. Upon returning home to visit my family, I called Mrs. Nearhood on the phone. I greeted her, speaking in Greek. She could not guess who was talking and was amazed when I identified myself. That was a bonding moment. In sharing our experiences, I gained deeper understanding and richer appreciation for things she had encountered in coming and living and teaching here. I especially grasped the significance of challenges she had faced successfully 'that year' as our English Teacher at Ruggles-Troy.

Over the years, on multiple occasions when I came home to see family and friends, I had the pleasure of visiting with Mrs. Nearhood. It was always a pleasure to talk with her. Mrs. Nearhood is beautiful – in so many ways – attractive, intelligent, gracious, creative, passionate, inspiring, caring, loving.

Yes, I am pleased to say she was my teacher.

Thank you, Mrs. Nearhood, with much love and with high respect.

Σ τ ο κ α λ ο. Ε ι ρ η ν η.

Once your student – always your admirer.

Merlyn Kettering

Terri Zachos

Posted at 05:51pm
Mary was a wonderful person who welcomed newcomers with open arms and remembered all of her students from decades ago. +May her memory be eternal.+

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