Harold P. (Zeke) Zilka born on November 21, 1938, son of Frank S. and Mary Zilka (deceased) passed away on January 7, 2013. He was the beloved father of Frank S. Zilka II and wife, Suzanne; and grandchildren, Katie, Andrew and Jon; and son, Timothy R. Zilka. Zeke enjoyed a close relationship with his in-laws, the Mann family, of Queensbury, New York. He was predeceased by his wife, Jane Widmayer Flynn; and survived by stepdaughter, Christine Flynn Curran and her husband, Dr. Joshua Curran.
Zeke graduated in 1956 from Johnstown High School where he lettered in five sports per year. Prior to high school graduation, he was offered a scholarship to University of Buffalo for football but chose to attend RIT for baseball and engineering and graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering.
As a starter at RIT in baseball, he drew the attention of major league scouts and received no less than seven opportunities in professional baseball.
In 1960, he married Olivette Bunner Williams, his lifelong friend and mother of their two sons, Frank and Tim. She survives.
His athletic career after college included being an original member in 1962 of the Glove Cities Colonials semi-pro football team. He played semi-pro baseball with the Schenectady Krals through the 60s and in 1968 he took up the game of golf. His golf career spanned 44 years, having won numerous area golf tournaments. He was a member of Edison Club, Mohawk Club, Glens Falls Country Club and Saratoga National Golf Club. In 1978, Zeke set a modern day course record at the Edison Club. Zeke qualified and played as an amateur in the BC open in Endicott, New York and was low amateur for the tournament. Zeke was an avid skier and a certified member of Professional Ski Instructors of America. He was a member of the West Mountain and Gore Mountain ski schools. Zeke was an avid outdoor sportsman and a member of the Gooley Club since 1962. He received his pilot’s license in 1964.
In 1960, he joined Schenectady Chemical Company and in 1972 he joined Pneutronics Group Inc. as a Sales Engineer. In 1981, he struck out on his own and incorporated H20 Technology. His sons Frank and Tim Zilka joined their father in 1984 as partners and the three grew the business to a multi-state operation. That business was sold in 1992 to Waste Management. In 1993, he incorporated Tech Services International, a pipeline cleaning and consulting company which he remained active in until the present. He felt Obama and the present administration were out to destroy small business.
He never missed his sons’ athletic endeavors, or granddaughter Katie’s ski races or lacrosse games, or his grandsons’ Andrew and Jon’s football games. He played golf and hunted with his sons and grandsons until he entered the hospital on December 12, 2012.
He touched the lives of many people as an athlete, outdoorsman and entrepreneur. He was dearly loved and will be missed by many including his beloved dogs.
Relatives and friends are invited to a celebration of his life on Tuesday, January 15, at 5 p.m. at Saratoga National Golf Club, 458 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs, New York.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations in Zeke’s name to Saratoga Hospital Foundation, 211 Church Street, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866.
Online remembrances may be made at www.armerfuneralhome.com.