Nov 22, 1925 - Jan 16, 2017
George Frank Zounek
1925 – 2017
George Frank Zounek was born in New York City, New York on November 22, 1925 to Frank Zounek and Marie (Jirusova) Zounek. He had one older sister, Mildred, who died in a tragic car accident when she was about 7. Soon after, his father had a mental breakdown from which he never recovered. George had to grow up quickly and help his mother in any way he could so they could make ends meet. One of the jobs she had was to manage a tenement house. They had a broiler in the basement to heat the apartments. He had to frequently clean out the ashes and put in more coal to keep the heat going. He also helped her clean the hallways and bathrooms in the tenement.
Another of his mother’s jobs was working at a Bohemian restaurant. George went there after school to help. In the process, he learned all the various jobs in the restaurant. Between that and helping his mother make dinners, he became an excellent cook. He also worked as an usher in the Loew’s theater and as a delivery boy for Walgreens.
When World War II broke out, George enlisted in the Marines at the age of 17. He fought on several of the islands (Guadal Canal, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa) in the Asiatic-Pacific area from December 1942 until the war was over in 1945. He didn’t make it home the whole time, taking his R&R in New Zealand and Australia. He was later called up to serve during the Korean conflict for about 18 months until they realized he had too many combat points to serve any longer.
After his discharge after WWII, he lived and worked in various places including Burbank, California; Carlsbad, New Mexico; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Orange, Texas; New York City, New York; and Binghamton, New York. In 1952 he started working for IBM in Endicott, New York. He worked for IBM as a draftsman and later a mechanical engineer until he retired in 1984. He worked for IBM in several other locations including Binghamton and East Fishkill, New York; Boulder, Colorado; and San Jose, California.
After his retirement, he became “Mr. Mom” and volunteered at his daughter, Kristen’s, school and took her to dance lessons and competitions in San Jose. After moving to Hollister, California, he drove her and her friends to their various activities and became a second father to some of them. When Kristen went to college, he started working as a marshal at various golf courses including San Juan Oaks in Hollister, California; Rancho Murieta, California; and Wildhawk in Sacramento, California. He has lived in Sacramento since 2003 with his wife, Karen. Karen’s Mom lives next door and Kristen and her family live across the street.
He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather who made family and friends his number 1 priority. He lived with dignity and integrity and passed peacefully surrounded by love on January 16, 2017.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Karen (Eichin) Zounek; his daughter, Kristen (Zounek) Masters, her husband, Zachary Masters, and their two daughters, Katelyn and Madison; his daughter Natalie (Zounek) Steele; his son, Vincent Zounek and his wife, Susan (Piel) Zounek; and his mother-in-law, Nadene Eichin. His first wife, Betty (Stanek) Zounek, preceded him in death.
East Lawn Elk Grove Mortuary
9189 E. Stockton Blvd
Elk Grove, CA