Robert J. “Bob” Zucal
- May 30, 2021
Robert J. “Bob” Zucal, 88, of New Philadelphia, died Saturday, May 29, 2021, in Select Specialty Hospital at Cleveland from complications of a stroke suffered on May 9. Born on June 6, 1932, in Tuscarawas County, he was the son of the late Robert and Margaret (Danko) Zucal.
Bob grew up on the family farm in Baltzley Valley and in New Philadelphia, and attended the former Dover St. Joseph High School before graduating from the former Midvale High School in 1950. He furthered his education as an adult at Kent State Tuscarawas earning an associate degree in Geology.
He held several varied and very interesting careers through the years, working as a union carpenter, employed at the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District, the Ohio State Forestry Service and eventually retiring in 1996 after a long career with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) at New Philadelphia. He was very proud of his contributions to ODOT and enjoyed revisiting and talking about some of the more noteworthy projects and jobs he participated in over the years.
On May 13, 1961, he married the former Joanne R. Young, and they shared 49 wonderful years before she died on Sept. 20, 2010. Robert and Joanne have four children, John (Wendy) Zucal of New Philadelphia, Robert (Connie) Zucal of Dover, James (Jody) Zucal of Uhrichsville and Maria (Darrin) Lautenschleger of New Philadelphia. Their grandchildren are Caitlin (Chris Maskevich) Zucal of Austin, TX; Ethan (fiancé, Baili Fox) Zucal of New Philadelphia; Madeleine Zucal of Columbus; Katrina (Zac) McNutt of New Philadelphia; Josh (Paige Thompson) Zucal of Malvern; AnnMarie Zucal of New Philadelphia; and Macy and Zach Lautenschleger of New Philadelphia. He also is survived by his special nephew, Robert (Cheri) Petitte, several nieces and nephews, and many special friends who he made a point to speak to frequently.
Bob is a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church at New Philadelphia and a member and former president of the Tuscarawas County Chapter of the Public Employee Retirees Inc. (PERI). “Big Bob,” “Pap” and/or “Sonny” as he is known by many of his family and friends, also had a wide variety of interests and hobbies, from reading and studying local and military history, enjoying the outdoors (fishing, hunting and trapping), collecting arrowheads, Ohio State and New Philadelphia Quaker football, monitoring local weather, watching western and classic movies, long drives through the area countryside and catching up with old friends at local restaurants.
He especially was proud of the accomplishments, activities and professions of his children and grandchildren, researching them and being able to speak in great detail about them, too.
He thoroughly enjoyed his time as a member, legislative chairman and president of the local PERI chapter, contacting federal, state and local officials, and frequently receiving return calls from former U.S. Reps. Zack Space and Bob Ney to discuss policy, and, as he said frequently, “ … to let them know we are paying attention back here at home and what I think about what’s going on in Washington right now.”
He also was a fixture driving the countryside in his bright red Chevrolet pickup truck making daily stops at his family farms, especially checking on his Longhorn “cow friends.” He traveled every road in Tuscarawas and many other counties on numerous occasions, and recalling and describing specific details about the roads, environment, natural resources and more in those communities and rural areas.
In addition to Joanne, he also was preceded in death by his sister and brother-in-law, Mary Ann and John Petitte; his sister-in-law and brother-in law, Mary (Young) and Joseph Fister, and sisters-in-law, Sister Dorothy (Muriel) Young, CDP, and Sister Bernadette (Mary John) Young, CDP.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, June 2, 2021 from 4 to 7 p.m. with the Rosary being said at 6:45 p.m. Father Jeff Coning will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday at 10 a.m. in Sacred Heart Church. Burial will follow in Calvary Cemetery at New Philadelphia. Following the committal service, friends and family are invited to the Sacred Heart Parish Hall where a meal will be shared.
In recognition of Bob and Joanne’s strong faith, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 139 Third Street NE, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663.