Obituary of Walter John Zombek Jr.
Walter was born March 18, 1949, at home in North Babylon, NY. His father Walter J. Zombek Sr. helped his mother, Ellen J. Zombek nee, Ryckman, deliver his son during a snowstorm. Walter has an older brother, Gilbert Zombek (Patricia, deceased), younger brother Stanley Zombek (deceased) and sister Ellen Zombek and brother-in-law Gary Ferdon. He loved helping his father work with tools. All through his life he always returned to carpentry for his livelihood and shared it with many young apprentices. He loved all sports and as a youngster was always organizing dirt field baseball games, played basketball using the hoop on the telephone pole in front of the house into the wee hours of the night and played football. Walt was very passionate fan of professional baseball, football, college basketball, and NASCAR and instilled a love for athletics to all around him.
Walt graduated from North Babylon High School in 1967 and is a decorated Vietnam War Veteran from 1968-1969 in the Mekong Delta with the 9th Infantry Division. His awards include the Bronze Star Medal for valor, the Air Medal, two Army Commendation Medals for Valor, the Army commendation Medal for merit, and the Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm for valor. His Bronze Star was awarded for saving three of his comrades from a burning ammo dump and he successfully put out the burning ammunition with a fellow comrade after his life saving action.
After being honorably discharged from the Army, he tried college, coached a little league baseball team, much to the delight of the boys and learned hockey from his little brother and married the widow next door, Danica McClelland. Most of all he was the proud and devoted father of Rudoph S. Zombek, Suzanne McClelland (Suzanne Salisbury), Sean McClelland (Dianna), grandfather to Hannah & Reese McClelland and great-grandfather to Rosalie.
He is also survived by three nephews, Clifford B. Ferdon II (Rene), Gilbert Ferdon (Jaime) and Matthew Ferdon (Shemeka) and grandnephews Garrison and Weston and grandnieces Mackenzie and Sienna.
He moved to Mastic Beach on Great South Bay across from Fire Island and made wonderful memories for all who knew him with his hospitality and cooking. He lost the house in Super Storm Sandy. He left to help his Son Rudi relocate and never looked back at New York. They eventually settled in Penrose, CO where he enjoyed his retired life going to car shows, listening to country music, and going on many road trips across the country to see family and friends.
Walt passed away in Colorado on October 7. A viewing will be held on Thursday, Oct. 19 at the Springs Funeral Service, 3115 E. Platte Ave, CO 80909 from 4-5 PM. Interment will be at Pikes Peak National Cemetery, 10545 Drennan Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80923 at 9 AM on Friday, Oct. 20.
In lieu of flowers a contribution in Walt’s name to the Wounded Warriors or American Heart Assoc. would be appreciated.
He is already missed by all whose lives he touched.