Eric James Zentner (1979 - 2017)

Obituary
  • "JoAnn and Dan and Family, We have fond memories of Eric as..."
  • "Dear JoAnn and Dan, Rick and I send our heartfelt..."
    - Lynda Giguere
  • "Sorry for your great loss, may God's loving kindness..."
  • "I had a fantastic time with you. Thank you for being..."
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Eric James Zentner arrived into this world on May 3rd 1979 and departed November 11th 2017 to the spiritual realm where we will undoubtedly find him one day-happy, content, and most likely having just returned from a great adventure across the galaxies. Eric was lost while hiking in the Sierra Mountains, yet without a doubt we know his spirit now soars.

Eric was a beloved son, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. He was a pilot, a diver, a world traveler, a business owner, a philanthropist and a lover of cats. One would be hard pressed to hear Eric say a bad word about anyone. He was an astute observer, but always withheld judgment. Everyone who knew him speaks first of his good heart.

Eric loved everything about being in the great outdoors, whether riding his fat bike during the frozen Fairbanks winter or hiking the misty Southeast forests in the summer. He was always game to jump in the ocean, climb a mountain, ski the slopes, or swim to the glacier. But without a doubt, his greatest joy and accomplishment was acquiring his private pilot's license. He found a joy in flying that seemed to set his very soul free!

After receiving his bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Washington, Eric treated himself to a long-desired trip, jumping on a train in London and traveling across the continent to Beijing, where he would live and work for a good part of the following year. He had a wicked knack for absorbing languages, and, after studying Japanese and Russian for several years, learned to read, write and speak Chinese.

We are certain Eric was enthusiastically welcomed into the next world by his loving grandparents George and Lolly Grady, Nora and Bill Zentner, Betty Quist, and his wonderfully theatrical Uncle Tom. For the time being he leaves behind his dad Bill Zentner, mom JoAnn Grady and stepdad Dan De Roux, his beloved sister Katie and his cherished nephew, Austin. He now watches over his grandfather Bob, his uncles and aunts; John, Paul, Janice, Irvin, Liz, Cathy, Sybil and Ken, and many special cousins. He will be dearly missed by his lifelong pals Dave Shepro, Brady Frickey and Reu Yerkes.

A foundation has been established in Eric's honor, the funds of which will be overseen by impartial administrators and distributed to single mothers to assist with tuition and educational materials for young children. Donations can be made to the Rocinante Memorial Fund c/o Wells Fargo.

A celebration of Eric's life will take place in November, with details to be announced at a later date. In the meantime, we ask that all who knew Eric dedicate an act of kindness in his memory for those less fortunate. He would really like that.
A full obituary and photos can be viewed at: www.ericjzentner.com
Published in The Juneau Empire from May 14 to June 13, 2018
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