Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Aunt, Volunteer, Best Friend“It’s not where you live, but how.” THANK YOU, GOD, FOR A “GREAT LIFE”**********************Thelma K. Zaytoun passed away peacefully at Rex Healthcare in the early morning hours of April 2, 2017. Thelma was 96 years “young.” Her family will cherish the simple obituary above, which she wrote for herself and only recently shared with her children.Thelma’s family extended well beyond her husband, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, brothers, sisters, mother and father,aunts and uncles. She leaves behind, and will forever watch over her beloved husband, best friend and life companion of 73 years, Joseph E. Zaytoun, also 96 years old; four children, Albert J. Zaytoun, Robert E. Zaytoun (Beth), Mary Elizabeth Benton(Don), and Stephen K. Zaytoun (Lisa), grandchildren Laura Zaytoun (Dele), Kathryn Zaytoun, Sarah Birth (Donnie), Elizabeth Zaytoun, Adam Zaytoun (Jensen), John “Jack” Benton (Megan), Julien “Tessa” Zaytoun (Santino), Robert Ford Dodd, Myriah Zaytoun, Matthew Zaytoun and Mary Susan Zaytoun Boyle (Kevin); great-grandchildren, Piper Elizabeth Birth, Oliver Ford Hoolhorst, Jett Ellis Sladavic, and Roberson Powers Boyle; special friends, Jean and Woody Durham, Carson Satterfield, the entire Saleh family, and many others whose lives she touched. Thelma was predeceased by her parents Joseph and Martha Knuckley; brothers Albert Knuckley, Robert Knuckley, Stephen Knuckley; and sister Sissy Shaheen.The Zaytoun children give thanks and gratitude for the loving care provided to their parents by Kimberly McGhee, Mary Austin Roberts, Rhodora Oluyenisti, and Kotreece Morgan, all of whom will forever be a part of the Zaytoun family.A Funeral Mass of the Resurrection will be held on Friday, April 7 at 11:00 AM at St. Andrew The Apostle Catholic Church on 3008 Old Raleigh Road, Apex, NC 27502. Visitation with the family and a luncheon will follow in the Church Fellowship Hall provided by her dear friend and favorite restaurateur, Rey Arias and the staff from Rey’s Restaurant. Everyone at Rey’s loved and admired Thelma. The Zaytoun family counted Rey’s as their second kitchen and dining room over many years.Thelma taught her children that to serve their community and give back was the greatest gift they could ever receive. She faithfully volunteered at Rex Hospital for over 50 years, at both the “Old Rex Hospital” on St. Mary’s Street and “New Rex Hospital” (Rex Healthcare) on Blue Ridge Road. It was Thelma’s idea to handcuff the mothers to the bassinettes holding their newborn babies so that there was no risk of babies being separated from their mothers during the move to New Rex. She also was instrumental in starting the Rex Gift Shop where she volunteered without fail every Monday, the proceeds from which supported many important causes at Rex Healthcare. Physicians, nurses, house staff, anxious husbands awaiting the birth of a child, patients and family of patients were all touched in a special way by her warm and greeting smile and helpful suggestions of gifts for whatever the occasion. Former CEO David Strong and current CEO Steve Burris each counted Thelma as a true friend, vital resource and mentor. In honor of their 45th wedding anniversary, Joseph, her devoted husband, established The Thelma Zaytoun Nursing Scholarship Fund to benefit nurses seeking advanced degrees in nursing education and administration. Rex nurses have benefitted from these scholarships awarded annually and continue to serve professionally at Rex Healthcare.In lieu of flowers, those who wish to make a donation in Thelma’s honor may contribute to this worthy scholarship fund which personifies Thelma’s passion for service and giving back to Rex Healthcare for the love she received there. Checks can be made payable to: Rex Healthcare Foundation, 2500 Blue Ridge Road, Suite 325, Raleigh, North Carolina 27607.Thelma Zaytoun will be missed. All who knew her were touched in some special way by her commitment to service, her passion for a just and fair society, her often expressed opinions not to be budged, her quick wit, her role model of generosity and most of all, her endearing and welcoming smile to anyone she met.Mrs. Z, we love you for the great life you brought to others.