Al Zerwekh

Obituary of Al Zerwekh

Al Zerwekh, 94, of Aurora, passed away with family at his side on November 19, 2012. Al was born to Albert Henry Zerwekh and Clara Belle Emerick on September 16, 1918 in Des Moines, Iowa. He lived in Valley Junction, Iowa and attended the Lincoln School and Valley High where he graduated in 1936. He lived in Muscatine, Iowa from 1936 to 1938, where he drove a truck, worked at the Mid-Continent service station, and met his future wife, Ruth Brandstetter. From 1938 to 1942, he and Ruth attended York College in York Nebraska, where he earned his bachelor's degree in Chemistry. On June 3rd, 1942, he graduated in the morning and married Ruth that afternoon in the York College Chapel. The ceremony was officiated by four ministers, including Ruth's father (an EUB minister) and a York College Dean. For the next two years, Al attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, until he was called to active duty in the U.S. Navy. He attended Navy communications school at Harvard, participated in the commissioning ceremony of the USS Compel, and was assigned as her communications officer. Al served in the Pacific Fleet for two years, being reassigned as the communications officer and then executive officer on the USS Raven. In 1945 Al was released from active duty, and moved to the then-secret city of Los Alamos, NM, to start his career at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. He returned to York College for two years to teach Chemistry, and then moved back to Los Alamos in 1951. He and Ruth lived in Los Alamos for nearly the next half-century, where he continued his work as an analytical chemist at LASL. He and Ruth raised their family of seven children and were active members of the First United Methodist Church. During this time, Al made continuous contributions to the youth, needy and elderly in his community as an active participant in the church, Jemez House Youth Ranch, Boy Scouts, the local food bank, and the Rockland Park Running Club outreach to prisoners and their families. In 1998, Al and Ruth moved to Poncha Springs, Colorado where they again spent their time giving of themselves as active members of the Salida United Methodist Church and delivering Meals on Wheels. In 2007, he and Ruth moved to Aurora, CO to be near family. Al is survived by six children: Bill Zerwekh of Kalispell, MT, Terry Templeman of Parker, CO, Bobbie Voss of Edmond, OK, Don Zerwekh of Albuquerque, NM, Sam Zerwekh of Shawsville, VA, and John Zerwekh of Parker CO. He is also survived by sixteen grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Al was preceded in death by his wife Ruth, sister Margaret Templeman son Mike Zerwekh and grandson David Zerwekh. A Memorial Service will be held at Shalom Park (Community Room), 14800 E. Belleview Dr., Aurora, CO on Sunday, November 25, 2012, 1:30 p.m. Service Information
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