Zelma was 93. She passed away peacefully at her home Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. She was born on March 6, 1922, in Spring Creek, Ky. She was the oldest of nine children of the late Albert and Easter (Jordan) Baker.
Zelma owned and operated Zelma’s Restaurant for 40 years. She began her love for service in 1965, where she began working at, what was known at that time as, “the Dog House”. Zelma later purchased the restaurant in 1976 and that is where she began her life’s journey. In 1988, Zelma took her proprietorship to a new level by constructing a new building and changing the name to “Zelma’s”. Many people will fondly remember the infamous covered wagon that sat predominantly on Shadeland Ave.
Along with her four children, Alberta, Jim, John, and Kathy, and their encouragement, “Zelma’s” flourished and became a staple on Indianapolis’ East Side. Zelma’s work ethic was endless and guiding. She had 22 grandchildren, and 13 of them: Jim, Tina, Donna, Chad, Ross, Diana, Todd, Robbie, Tracey, Eric, Scott, Janet and Amber were all taught Zelma’s work ethic and attention to detail. Zelma loved her customers, and as many of them travelled, they would bring her a plate from their destinations, which she would proudly display in her restaurant alongside her many pictures of family and friends. Zelma welcomed all to free dining during the holiday seasons, and called everyone family. She was a member of the Eastern Star, joining in 1973. She began at the Irvington Chapter 364, and later transferred to Brookside. Zelma’s greatest love was her family. In 2001, she married Harrison (Gene) Lackey, Mike and Elissa (Gene’s children) into her already large family.
Zelma is survived by her husband, of 15 years, Gene Lackey; her four children, Alberta Sams, of Greenfield, James (Jim) Harmon, of Texas, John Riedling, of Indianapolis, and Kathy (Tipper) Spicklemire, of Greenfield; her added children, Mike (Garnet) Lackey, of New Palestine, and Elissa Vernon, of Indianapolis; 22 grandchildren; 37 great- grandchildren and four great- great- grandchildren, with a new arrival coming in April. She also leaves her siblings, Homer Baker (Ruth) of Ky., Jean Carlisle of Illinois, Elbert (Ray) Baker of Tenn. and many other family members and customers of Zelma’s Restaurant.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Easter Baker; siblings, Hedie Baker, Ova Baker, Thelma (Sue) Hibbs and Elva Greer. Zelma was the matriarch of the family.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Indiana Masonic Home in Franklin, Indiana: 609 State St., Franklin IN 46131.
Family and friends may call from 4- 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, 2016 and from 11a.m.- 12 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, with funeral services at Noon at Flanner and Buchanan – Washington Park East. 10722 E. Washington St, Indianapolis 46229. Zelma’s final resting place will be Bidge-Hoskins Family Cemetery, Ky. Services in Kentucky will be performed at Rominger Funeral Home on Monday, Jan. 25, 2016 from 11:30 a.m. -1p.m., with graveside burial immediately following.
Please sign Zelda’s guestbook and share memories at www.flannerbuchanan.com