Thursday, March 21, 2019

Ann M. Zakelj (1947-2019)

We met in Cleveland, Ohio, 1996, when I was a contractor with the U. S. Department of Defense Financial Accounting Service (DFAS). When she handed me her card, I read her name as “Za-kelly.” She corrected me. “Zay-kell,” she said. “The j is silent.” In my cubie, I had a picture of the Greek goddess Eirene carrying the infant Ploutos. Most people assumed that it was the Virgin Mary and Christ Child, but she identified it correctly. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. 

We attended the ANA conventions in Cleveland (1997), Cincinnati (1998), New York (2002), and Pittsburgh (2004).  Ann came to numismatics late in life bringing a special passion supported by many years of world travel, a facility for languages, broad reading, keen insight, and deep reflection. 

Ann was very active in her church, St. Vitas, and for them, and others, she crafted proscenia, and other decorations. So, when Ann began collecting ancient coins, her aesthetic judgment always brought her the best examples for the price. Her primary interest was for classical Greek, but she also worked hard on the Severan dynasty, especially the women. Eye-appeal was more important than completeness; and she was an eclectic gatherer, rather than a focused hunter. 

In a casual conversation, we agreed that the coins of Alexander the Great probably portrayed Alexander, and we set out to prove it. We spent over 18 months assembling research, meeting in restaurants, and exchanging information in emails. We published “Portraits and Representations of Alexander the Great,” in The Celator, Vol 16., no. 7, (July 2002).

Ann loved to travel and had been to every continent but preferred Europe, especially the Balkans where she had many cousins. Her easy skill with languages served her well. On Rhodes, they thought she was Turkish. In Istanbul, her accent sounded Greek. But it was never a problem because she had a winning personality. She was a natural extrovert and probably got the Sphinx to talk. Ann was born in Austria on March 10, 1947, and passed away peacefully among family, on February 13, 2019.


1 comment:

  1. I should have seen the ending coming, but it shocked me. Maybe that's the point. I'm sorry to hear this.