Edward A. Zeretzke

December 27, 1920 - January 07, 2013

Edward A. Zeretzke

December 27, 1920 - January 07, 2013


Ed Zeretzke passed away on January 7, 2013 at the age of 92. He was born Dec 27, 1920 in Milwaukee Wisconsin to German immigrant parents, Herman and Hertha Zeretzke. He was one of 3 sons. He lost his own father at age 15 and had to finish high school by day and worked on a machinist apprenticeship at night to help support the family.
Ed served in the Navy during WWII and was stationed in Oak Harbor WA. One night at an outing to a local USO club, he met the lovely Linda Hammond. It was love at first sight and after a brief 3 month courtship, they married. Their marriage lasted 62 years until Lindas passing in 2007.
After WWII, his machinist training led him into a career of skilled trades of all kinds. He was a true Jack of all trades and could build or fix anything. He worked as a field consultant for a large mid-west machine tool company which took him around the world installing and repairing industrial production equipment. The time away from his young family called him back to enter a home building business with his brother Fred in Rockford Illinois.
Eventually, Lindas homesickness for the northwest brought the family back to Mount Vernon. Ed resumed carpentry with a local builder for several years until he took a job at the new Texaco refinery. Ed stayed with Texaco for the next 25 years until his retirement, traveling at times as far as Honduras to start up a new refinery. He and Linda lost their second son, Randy, in an industrial accident in 1984 which led them to founding the local chapter of Compassionate Friends a support organization for parents who have lost children.
After retirement Ed and Linda spent the rest of their years together traveling widely both domestically and abroad. They spent numerous winters in Arizona, trips around the U.S. and Canada, and cruises through the Panama Canal, Caribbean, South Pacific and beyond.
Ed was well known as a most extraordinary person. His life was characterized by a generosity and work ethic that was legendary. Until just a few months before his passing he could be found fixing something for someone, or working in his yard or at the top of a ladder pruning at 90.
He had a vibrant, contagious energy and joy for life that was evident in everything he did with a kindness, humor and gracious presence that warmed anyone. He always had a twinkle in his eye and was ever the eternal optimist, remembered for saying Id rather burn out than rust out. When Ed wasnt fixing something he also enjoyed fishing, square dancing, reading and stained glass work.
In 2008 Ed met the second true love of his life, Joann Corfman. They completed each others lives with enthusiasm, traveling, spending summers in Twisp, fishing, and completely enjoying their life together.
Ed is survived by his companion Joann Corfman, his son and daughter-in-law, Dale Zeretzke and Annie Walker, a daughter and son-in-law, Heidi Zeretzke and Tim Miller. Grand children include Megan Walker, Ivy ONeal and Robin Miller and a wonderful, beautiful new great-grand daughter, Isla ONeal, plus numerous nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, his two brothers, Bobby and Fred, his wife Linda and son Randy.

Farewell Tribute Information

A joyful celebration of Eds life will be held on January 19th at 1:00 pm at the First United Methodist Church in Mount Vernon with a loving reception following. Donations Information

If you choose, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice NW, Compassionate Friends, The First United Methodist Church, or to Ed joining Linda in an already very successful KIVA memorial microlending fund in the developing world (information or contributions to that fund can be made by contacting Dale @ 336.2572).

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