George Zounek

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.

Funeral Home:
East Lawn Elk Grove Mortuary
9189 E. Stockton Blvd
Elk Grove, CA
US 95624


  • Pam says:

    What a wonderful life he had. I wish you peace and memories of the life you shared.

  • Alma Ortega-Avery says:

    Beautiful life story. Thank you George for protecting our country as long as you did. Love to you Karen, I pray the pain eases with every day. God bless you and your family.

  • Lillian says:

    Good evening. It is now April 24. I read George’s obit in the Sacramento Bee some weeks ago but had no way of contacting anyone. Just to let you know I live in Lodi, California – not far from you. I grew up on 73rd St. in Manhattan across the street from the Bohemian National Hall and knew George and his mom as they lived on the top floor of the tenement two houses away from the Hall. I am Slovak and quite younger than Georgie but we all knew him and his mom. I sent the obit to my friend in Florida as she is 81 but also remembered him. His mother looked after Joe Charousek – he ran a small candy store in one of the storefronts. I still go back to New York once a year and gravitate to 73rd St. My tenement house is still standing. We had a toilet down the hall shared with a neighbor, bathtub in kitchen, and no heat. Parents paid $l8.65 for the tiny 4 rooms. It was remodeled in l961 and we ended up with only 3 rooms but a full bathroom and heat and the rent went up to $65.00. When I visited NYC last year, the apt. went condo and my old apt. was available for $749,000!!! unbelieveable. The building where Georgie grew up and the 3 adjacent to it were knocked down and a high rise went up.. Just some history of the old neighborhood for you. Again, my condolences

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