Winfred C. Zacharias, 87, died peacefully on Jan. 24, 2012, at the Bickford Cottage in Midland, with family by his side. Win was born on a small farm in North Dakota on Oct. 21, 1925, to Andrew and Tillie Zacharias. His parents and six siblings preceded him in death.
Win served in the Army
of Occupation in France and Germany as World War II
was coming to a close in Europe. After he returned to the U.S., he earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Nebraska. He married Joyce F. Fuhrman in 1952, and together they moved to Midland where Win began his career with The Dow Chemical Co.
Win and Joyce raised six children, all who survive him, Cynthia Zacharias (M. Scott Richardson), Theresa Zacharias, Katherine Zacharias, Patricia Prewozniak (James), Kevin Zacharias (Kathleen), and Mark Zacharias. Grandchildren include, Phillip and Matthew Mohebalian, Morgan Holle (Daniel), Claire and Brett Zacharias, Marvilyn Whiteside (Christopher), and Marlina Dziedzic (Chad). Great-grandchildren include, Marina Lozano, Tanner and Taylor Whiteside, and Kenzie Dziedzic.
Win and Joyce greatly enjoyed time with family as well as travel to the Caribbean, Hawaii, and western U.S. until Joyce passed away in 1990.
Win's 34-year Dow Chemical Co. career included leadership positions in Research and Development, Economic Evaluation, Corporate Insurance, and U.S. Treasury. Early in his Dow career, he earned an master's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan
Upon retirement from Dow in 1986, he and six fellow Dow â€˜graduates' founded the consulting firm Omni-Tech International, Ltd. From that time until he retired from Omni-Tech in 2002, he headed up the administration, finance and international activities in addition to serving on the board.
In the early 1960s, Win teamed up with a group of Midland colleagues to acquire undeveloped lakefront property on Lake Michigan and establish the Birchwood Hills Association—a community of family cottages surrounded by pristine forests and lovely beaches. He remained actively involved as a board member until the time of his death. Win and his extended family have greatly enjoyed the gatherings over the years at the cottage near Pentwater where he spent as much time as possible each year.
Along with devotion to family, Win placed a priority on â€˜giving back' to the community and enthusiastically volunteered his time and talents. Soon after retiring from Dow, he led the integration of a team of Midland-area professionals with West Midland Family Center local board members who understood the needs of the community. The team secured the support of five major foundations to facilitate the expansion of the West Midland Family Center from a small schoolhouse to the modern and popular facility it is today. Win served on the board for most of the 16 years of volunteer involvement at WMFC. He and the Executive Director, Phyllis Breedlove, became special friends following her retirement at the end of 1991. Together they enjoyed ballroom dancing and travel to Europe, Mexico, Canada, and Hawaii as well as at least half of the mainland states. Phyllis passed away in 2011.
Win loved life in Midland and was grateful for his many friends as well as the enjoyable activities/services that community leaders have made available in the last half of the 1900s and beyond. He remained an active member/player at the Midland Community Tennis Center until 2011 and provided volunteer support for the annual tournaments. Win was an active member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.
A funeral liturgy will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013, at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Midland, with Father Pete Gaspeny, Celebrant. The family will receive friends at Smith-Miner Funeral Home, 2700 W. Wackerly, on Monday, from 4-7 p.m., and on Tuesday at the Church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service. In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider
, West Midland Family Center or National Alliance on Mental Illness. Online condolences can be left at www.smithminer.com