The Rev. George Zabriskie, 90, beloved husband, father, pastor, friend, and servant of God died July 19, 2016, in Bozeman, Montana, from complications of Alzheimer's. He was born in Philadelphia in 1926 to Mary Tyler and The Rev. Alexander C. Zabriskie and was raised at Virginia Theological Seminary.
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After graduating from Episcopal High School in 1944, George served in the Pacific with the United States Navy. After military service, George attended Princeton University, graduating in 1950. He went on to Virginia Theological Seminary. He was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church in 1954 and a priest in 1955 while teaching and serving as a chaplain at Groton School in Massachusetts.
Following his chaplaincy at Groton, George was called to be curate at St. Thomas Church in New York City. There he met and married Thyrza Pope Day in 1959. George and Thyrza soon departed for Manila, Philippines where he was rector of Holy Trinity Church from 1959 to 1970. While there, the couple had three children: Laura, Anne and Gray.
Upon returning to the States, George served as a proctor fellow at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He then went on to become canon at Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis Missouri. In 1977, he was called to be rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Larchmont, New York, where he served until retirement in 1992. Continuing ministry even in retirement George served a number of congregations in Vermont and Montana when needed.
George was an Episcopal priest for 61 years. Active in the community life of every diocese he served, George went beyond the parish, serving on scholarship committees and church-school boards. He was a Rotarian, and worked with Habitat for Humanity, the Child Advancement Project (CAP) where he was a mentor, and the Gallatin Valley Food Bank in Bozeman where he volunteered for 10 years. He supported the fight for equality of all people regardless of race, gender or sexual orientation in the life of the church.
George enjoyed the outdoors, especially tennis, sailing, fishing, skiing and hiking. He passed this love on to his children and grandchildren and enjoyed watching them play and participate in their extracurricular activities. He also enjoyed reading and listening to classical music.
A devoted family man, George loved and cherished his wife, Thyrza for 57 years. In addition to Thyrza, George is survived by his three children: Laura Catlin and partner Arlee Green of Bozeman; Anne Castren and husband Chad of Kalispell; and Gray Zabriskie of Battleboro, Vermont. He is also survived by his six grandchildren: James, Rachel and Phillip Catlin; Izaak and Ruben Castren; and Forest Zabriskie. In addition, he is survived by his brother, Sandy and wife Margy Zabriskie; his sister, Mary Forrest Zabriskie; Beverly Zabriskie, wife of his deceased brother Philip; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
A service of thanksgiving for his life will be held Aug. 13 at St James Episcopal Church in Bozeman, at a time to be announced. In lieu of flowers, George requested donations be made to St. James Episcopal Church, 5 W. Olive St., Bozeman, MT 59715; Gallatin Valley Food Bank, PO Box 1129, Bozeman, MT 59771; or The Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on July 24, 2016