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Alachua - John Zavocki passed away after a long illness, on February 17, 2013 at home with his family at his side. Born in Newark, New Jersey on November 25, 1932, he later moved to Irvington, New Jersey, retiring to Bethlehem, PA, in 1996. After the birth of his beloved grandson, he settled in Alachua, Florida to spend his last years with family.
Mr. Zavocki overcame a debilitating childhood illness to captain the Eastside High School basketball team and win the New Jersey State AAU championship in pole vaulting in 1950.
In 1955, Mr. Zavocki began his exciting 40-year career as a broadcast engineer with the Columbia Broadcasting System during the Golden Age of Television. Assigned to most major primetime shows in the 1950s and early 60s such as The Jackie Gleason Show and Playhouse 90, his camera footage from the Ed Sullivan Show of Elvis Presley and the Beatles is indelibly etched in the lexicon of American pop culture. Other career highlights include working at CBS News with Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, taping the 1969 Armstrong/Aldrin moon landing and audio consulting on the Late Show with David Letterman. He won Emmy awards for his work on Tonight with Belafonte and Studio One, and was nominated for a 1993 Daytime Emmy for sound for As The World Turns.
A voracious reader, Mr. Zavocki enjoyed many solitary hours building a vast literary and video library of more than 10,000 volumes. An engaging storyteller, he brought lecture notes to Sunday dinner, teaching his children science, history, art and philosophy. On January 1, 2013, "through the grace of God," he celebrated 40 years as a grateful member of AA.
He is preceded in death by his parents, John and Anna (Hucko) Zavocki, sister Anna, brother Paul and twin sister Catherine.
He is survived by his wife of 47 years Mae (Schuetrumpf) Zavocki; daughter, Arlene Z. Stewart (Jon) of Gainesville; son, John M. Zavocki (Aria) of NYC; grandson, Christopher Stewart and lifelong friend Paul Drzik of Union, NJ.
Services will be held Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM at Lytwyn & Lytwyn Funeral Home Chapel in Union, New Jersey. Burial will follow at Hollywood Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Lutheran Church, 1801 NW 5th Avenue, Gainesville, FL 32603; Haven Hospice 4200 NW 90th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32606; Faith Lutheran Church, 3355 MacArthur Rd., Whitehall, PA 18052 or Little-Hill Alina Lodge, P.O. Box G, Blairstown, NJ.
Arrangements are under the care of WILLIAMS-THOMAS FUNERAL HOME WESTAREA, 823 NW 143rd St.
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Published in Gainesville Sun from Feb. 20 to Feb. 21, 2013