obit: Albin Joseph Zak Jr.
Albin Joseph Zak Jr.
September 8, 1933 - August 26, 2010
Albin Joseph Zak Jr., 76, of Grafton, Vermont and formerly of Bryan, loving husband, adored father, trusted friend and passionate gardener died peacefully at home Thursday, August 26, 2010, from cancer. A memorial service is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday, September 1, at Saint Mary's in Springfield, Vt., followed by burial in Houghtonville Cemetery and a gathering at The Old Tavern Inn, Grafton, Vt.
Born September 8, 1933, in Bryan, Texas, to Albin Joseph Zak and Theresa Mary Vasicek, he was the oldest of three surviving children. An Eagle Scout and avid percussionist, he graduated from Bryan High School in 1950 and attended Texas A&M University where he earned BS degrees in Geology and Petroleum Engineering (1954) and an MS in Petroleum Engineering (1956). He was a member of A&M's Core of Cadets and played in the Aggie marching band. At 19 years old, he married Thelma Faye Hurley, who joined him in a life rich with love, adventure and hard work. They had four children.
Spurred both by opportunity and curiosity, he spent much of his life living with his family abroad-in Brazil, France, Algeria and England, and traveled extensively while working for Core Laboratories, Petrobras, Sonatrach, and Resources Engineering and Management International, of which he was a founding partner. He joined the Deutsche Bank in 1983 as Chief Engineer for Project Finance. He continued this work, later with WestLB, and then as a private consultant until his final days.
In 1990, he and Thelma moved to Grafton, Vermont. Atop Sylvan Hill, he planted thousands of daffodils, daylilies and countless other perennials, as well as extensive vegetable gardens and fruit orchards. Each year, he unfolded yet another part of his horticultural masterpiece. An active member of his community he served as Chair of the Finance Committee for St. Mary's Catholic parish in Springfield and Vice Chairman for Valley Cares elderly housing in Townsend.
As a Vermont Master Gardener, he enjoyed sharing his love of the earth and in his gardening projects with school children he imparted both practical know-how and lessons in living. He truly left the world better than he found it.
He will be greatly missed by his wife, Thelma; four children, Albin Joseph, Liza Anastasia, Andrew Jonathan and Susannah Kathleen; seven grandchildren; his brother, Michael; and his sister, Janice.
In lieu of flowers, please consider sending donations to Grace Cottage Hospital, 185 Grafton Rd, Townshend, VT 05353 or to the Visiting Nurse Association of Vermont website, www.vnavnh.org.
Published in The Bryan-College Station Eagle from August 30 to August 31, 2010