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Old 12-10-2008, 03:35 PM
GyBill GyBill is offline
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MSgt George J. Zook USMC (ret), 84, Grand Rapids, MI

George J. Zook, Msgt. US Marine Corps, retired, age 84, peacefully left this life on November 13, 2008 at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans where he had lived the last 3.5 years in a courageous battle against dementia. He had wonderful caregivers who were also of great support to his family. He was born on September 16, 1924 to George H. and Ila Zook in the village of West Salem, OH. George studied Latin four years for his life dream of becoming an MD but Pearl Harbor changed his plans. He enlisted in the USMC in 1942 after graduating from high school and the Corps became his career during which he saw action in WWII at the Okinawa landing and several other islands, the Korean war during which he was one of the survivors of the march out of the Chosin Reservoir and also the Vietnam war where he earned the purple heart and the Navy Achievement Medal with the Combat V for Valor. He was a staunch believer in freedom for the oppressed and a true hero. He lived his life by the motto of the Marine Corps which is "God, County & Corps." After retiring from the Marine Corps in 1969 he and the family later moved to Michigan where he was employed by Rogers Department Store and Automated Warehousing. He loved to travel and spent 21 years of retirement doing that with his wife along with volunteer work in different parts of the U.S. They summered at Sandy Pines and wintered in Earp, CA. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Clayton and Kenneth; and a sister, Dessi Beard. He is survived by his devoted wife, Susie, of 40 years; children, Virginia Krouse (Harold), Arlene Napier; step children, Terry McKinley (Sue), Marjean Ross, all of Ohio, Milo McKinley (Laura) of FL, Laurie Williams of Kentwood, Don Odren of Howard City and Kathy (Dan) Barton of GA; grandchildren, Kevin Ramsier, Shad Napier, Amanda Sharrock; step-grandchildren, Melisa Tackett, Gary McKinley, Jeremy Lake, Matt Lake, A.J. and Voni Williams, Jason Barton, Kristina Barton; and several great-grandchildren. Also surviving are a sister, LaVonne (Bob) Hines; brother-in-law, Fred (Sue) Eyer; sister-in- law, Lois Kilts; and several nieces and nephews. He was an active member of and affiliated with the United Methodist Church of Sparta for several years along with the Parker, AZ UMC and also the Lisbon Masonic Lodge and the Fleet Reserve Association. He loved his family and friends and was loved and revered especially by his grandchildren. George was a great practical joker and spent a lot of time dreaming up mischievous pranks to pull on his friends. He loved people in general and never met a stranger. Following cremation there will be a memorial service in celebration of George's life on Friday, December 12th, at the Sparta United Methodist Church at 11:00 a.m. with an hour of visitation prior to the service. Burial will follow in the National Cemetery at Fort Custer near Battle Creek, MI. As a more lasting memorial, in lieu of flowers, George would have preferred contributions to "UNIT ONE RED" c/o Grand Rapids Home for Veterans or the Sparta United Methodist Church. Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford

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