Richard E. Zylak, Jr., aka “Z” or Ziggy, 66, of Meadville, PA unexpectedly passed away on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. Rick was born in Latrobe, PA, June 12, 1954 a son of Janet, and the late Richard E Zylak, Sr. On August 20, 2011, he married Sherry (Bradley) Zylak. Rick was a 1972 graduate of Latrobe High, and a 1976 graduate of Edinboro University, majoring in the sciences of Physics, and Geology. He would later obtain his Master’s degree in Math. Rick taught at Meadville High School from 1977 to 2014; in the physics dept., geology and astronomy. In his retirement he continued subbing in all the local schools.
Rick was an avid fan of teaching and coaching. He was the assistant athletic director at MASH, coached swimming, tennis, golf, and his favorite, 8th grade basketball. His love of his students extended the classroom, on Kennywood finals, his “bonus” questions almost always involved Star Trek. He loved to push all the students whether in the classroom or on the court, to always do their best, strive for more, most of the time he did it with a smile on his face and a gentle nudge, or just the right words. Rick was born to teach.
Rick was not afraid to try anything at least once. His hobbies were anything fun, challenging and competitive. His love of golf took him to Scotland last year, and he played every chance he got. Next would be the poker table, until the competition was “mean to him” as he came home empty handed. Retirement is about fun, travel and living life to the fullest.
His greatest love of his life, are his children, Jordan and Jennifer, and the newest addition, granddaughter, Roo. Rick lived for his children, and strived to help them achieve their dreams.
Everyone should have best friends of a life time, and Rick was blessed with so many; most especially Jack and Mark Hurban and Jim Morgan. When this group would get together, you could not help but smile and laugh with them.
Rick is survived by his mom, Janet; his wife, Sherry; son, Jordan (Jenn) Zylak; daughter, Jennifer Rose Zylak; his brother, David (Debbie) Zylak and family; granddaughter, Ruth (Roo), many adored cousins, nieces, nephews and God Children.
He was preceded in death by his father, Richard E. Zylak, Sr. and daughter Halley.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Crawford Central Community Foundation (CCCF), P.O. Box 902, Meadville, PA 16335; where an academic/athletic scholarship will be set up in his name. Please note on the check memo line, “Rick Zylak Scholarship Fund.”
Calling hours will be Monday, July 27th from 4-7 p.m. at New Beginnings Church of God, 13226 Leslie Road, Meadville. The funeral service will follow at 7 p.m. at the church with Pastor Julie Lamberson, officiating. CDC guidelines for masking and social distancing will be followed.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Robert W. Waid Funeral Home, Inc., 581 Chestnut Street, Meadville where memories and condolences may be shared at www.waidfuneralhome.net
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard E. Zylak, Jr., please visit our floral store.
Crawford Central Community Foundation
P.O. Box 902, Meadville PA 16335