“There’s one more angel in heaven, there’s one more star in the sky… there’s one less place at our table, there’s one more tear in our eye.” My dad is that angel, he passed away this afternoon and if heaven is anything like I picture it, he’s playing baseball with my Uncle Bob or golfing with his buddies that went before him. While we are sad today, we will celebrate him on Friday.
Al was called for his tee time in heaven on Monday January 15, 2018.
Al was born August 27, 1927 in Kenosha, Wisconsin to Joseph and Katherine (Talaba) Zvoda. He was raised with an older sister (Vlasta) and brother (Russell) in Kenosha. He graduated from Mary D. Bradford high school excelling in sports and lettering in basketball and baseball.
After high school, he enlisted in the Navy (to get the GI bill so he could attend college). After leaving the Navy (three days early) he was off to Michigan State University pursuing a degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management and lettering in baseball. Along the way, he married his high school sweetheart, Margaret Johnson. He got his degree and they embarked on their next adventure. Now remember how he got out of the Navy three days early… well the Army then decided since he didn’t serve his full time, they would draft him to manage an officer’s club in Arkansas.
Now with his service to his country finally over, he returned to Michigan State to get a master’s degree in Institutional Management. Now it’s time to start a family, Amy came along first, followed by Michael. His work in food service took him to several locations around the country with family in tow. He’s worked in Indiana, Illinois, Washington D.C., York and Gettysburg Pa, and finally making it to central Wisconsin where he’s been since 1970.
Along with his jobs, he always found time to play with his kids and later his grandkids, in fact, he was usually the biggest kid in the group.
Another sport he took up and was passionate about was golf and he was quite a good golfer and enjoyed being a member of the Wausau Country Club for over 30 years, he passed that passion along to his children who always tried to beat him at the game. You could find him on the golf course with his buddies most days in the summer, an ageless game, he played into his 80’s.
Never one to sit idly by, he became a proficient woodworker making several pieces of furniture and some clocks and was always ready to cut out some craft things for Amy and Rose to paint.
Parkinson’s came along and slowed him down, he never complained only saying that no one should ever have to have that disease. He played cards with friends and went to breakfasts with his retirement group as long as the disease would let him.
His final years were spent at Pride TLC Assisted Living facility. He was treated with respect and kindness and loved all his caregivers. That brings us to Monday when it was finally his turn to go. Thanks to all at Pride TLC who took such good care of him.
Survivors include: Margaret (his wife of 67 years), children, Amy (Steve) Fronek, Rothschild, WI, Michael (Rose) Zvoda, Verona, WI, his four grandchildren, Samantha Fronek, Minneapolis MN, Max Fronek, Los Angeles, CA, Jason (Danielle) Zvoda, Littleton, CO and Kyle Zvoda, Madison, WI and great-grandchild, Kyson Zvoda, Littleton, CO.
Services will be on Friday, January 19, 2018 at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, 503 Schmidt Ave, Rothschild, WI. Visitation from 10am to noon with the service at noon and lunch to follow.
And when thinking of Al’s life, I’ll leave you with a quote from Dr. Seuss…
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”