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William "Bill" Martin
He wanted his obituary to be short, simple, and to the point: He came. He saw. He went. However his daughter, Susan, felt otherwise and
decided to fill in a few
gaps. William "Bill" Martin Zacharias came to this world on March 26, 1928, the son of John and Elizabeth (Fisher) Zacharias, of Toledo, Ohio.
During his life he saw many things. His earlier life
consisted of working on the family farm on Byrne Road, alongside his twelve siblings. Although he attended St. Charles Catholic School and went in the front and out the back of Maumee High School in the tenth grade, his real education was shaped by life experience. On the day he turned 18, Bill departed the farm to see the world, joining the U.S. Air Force at the tail end of World War II and being stationed with the 13th Squadron as an airplane and engine mechanic in Okinawa. Although he left his term of service before the Korean War, the only battle he ever saw was in the mess hall; an experience that would forever change his interest and taste for chicken.
Upon his return to Ohio, Bill served as a volunteer fireman for Adams Township and later married Rosalie Lawniczak on July 7, 1956. Although he held a variety of jobs during his earlier years: farmer, gas station mechanic, and gas company employee, Bill eventually discovered his calling as an electrician, which allowed him to wire and bring electricity into his mother's farm house. Bill proudly served as a member of the IBEW Union Local 8 for thirty-four years.
Besides knowing the value of hard work, instilled in him at an early age, Bill also knew the value of playing hard, mainly at sports, cards, and the occasional game of craps and blackjack. He
actively played softball in his youth as a catcher; bowled in various city leagues, no 300 game, but very, very close; golfed, where he managed
to make two hole-in-ones; wielded a mean pool stick; and of course, was always up for a game of euchre, gin rummy, or playing cribbage with his father-in-law, Charles Radaker. The farm never left Bill's blood and he could always be seen working hard in his yard and garden. Even as his Parkinson's disease took hold, he managed to find a way to continue working with his hands by picking up leaves and twigs, and was thankful the Wii remote allowed him to continue to roll a few balls down the alley or to hit the greens for a round or two.
After his retirement from the electrical trade, he worked at Spuyten Duyval Golf Course and was the doorman at the Maumee Elks Lodge 1850 for many years.
In keeping with his life-long nature to procrastinate, Bill waited until the very last minute to go out on his own terms. He went on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at his residence.
Left to carry on the legacy he didn't think he had is his wife, Rosalie; son, Charles (Brenda), who became a second-generation electrician; daughters, Susan and Barbara; grandson, Andrew (Amanda), the third generation to be born with electricity in his veins; great-granddaughter, Addison, and his four-legged family members, Sweet Pea, his rescue pal and ice cream buddy, Mr. Bojangles, and Bootsie. He was preceded in death by
his parents; brothers,
John, Elmer (Al), Charles, Lawrence (Orie), Joseph, Paul, Vincent, James, and Thomas; sisters, Elizabeth (Bettye), Mary, and Ann; grandson, Michael, who waited patiently for two and a half months for grandpa, so they could start going on mischievous adventures, and Koko and Cale, who eagerly await to receive their ice cream treat from "dad."
In honor of his wishes, no visitation or services will be held. In lieu of a memorial, share a joke with friends; sip on a Rolling Rock, and don't forget the chips or peanuts; plant a garden; cut a deck of cards and play a few hands; take a walk; aimlessly wander around the nearest hardware store; watch a Bucks, Browns, or Indians game; enjoy nature; watch a thunderstorm roll in; grab a good cup of coffee or tea with honey, with or without a donut; help someone in need; make an A&W root beer float; take pride in whatever you do, however great or small; but basically just "learn to make the best of it," as he would always say. The family wishes to thank the Fulton County Sheriff's Department; Swanton Fire and
Rescue; neighbors, Paul and Sandy Lunn, and the hospice team at Senior Independence for all their help, support, and compassion to Bill and his family as his disease progressed. Yes, he came, he saw, he went; but, he will always be remembered for what took place in between.
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Published in Toledo Blade on Mar. 23, 2014