Walter J. Zagata
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AGE: 92 • Pompano Beach, FL
Walter J. Zagata, age 92, passed away peacefully on Jan. 23, 2013 at his home in Pompano Beach, Florida with his loving family at his side. Born in Sayreville, to Peter & Catherine Zagata, he resided in his hometown until moving to Pompano Beach in 1973 for the winters and Long Branch, NJ for the summers. Walter was a graduate of Middlesex County Vocational School where he learned the skills of the welding trade. Walter was a U. S. Army Veteran of World War II, serving in the European and Pacific Theaters as a Technical Sergeant. After the war he returned to Sayreville working as a welder at Hercules. While still in his twenties, he took his savings, purchased a used welding machine and truck, and began his dream of owning his own business, Zagata Welding. He referred to himself as "Zagata the Welder from Sayreville".
He worked long hours and managed to operate a very successful business enabling him to retire at the young age of 51! His retirement years were perhaps busier than his working life! He became a New Jersey and Florida Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, and participated in many local community organizations in both states. His real passion, however, was to travel and learn about the world. For over 25 years he enjoyed traveling with his late wife, Leola A. Roels Zagata, who died in 1998. Together they traveled to all seven continent, visiting all Seven Wonders of the World, Mount Everest and the South Pole. In fact, on Walt's 90th birthday celebration, he was quoted as saying, "I had a bucket list and completed it all". Walter was a member of Sayreville Knights of Columbus Council 2061, the 4th degree assembly in Pompano Beach, Florida, Sayreville V.F.W. Memorial Post 4699, Sayreville American Legion Post 211, Past President Sayreville Lions Club, Honorary Member of Sayreville First Aid Squad, past member of Sayreville Industrial Commission and a life member of the BPOE Elks. Walter was also a member of the Broward County Sheriff's office "COP" Citizens Observance Patrol program for many years were he went on "patrol" with his fellow officers.
As well as his wife and parents, he is predeceased by his sister, Cecelia Pasterick, and his brothers, Louis and Simon Zagata. Surviving are his children former Sayreville Mayor James L. Zagata and former wife Donna of Sayreville, Lorraine Rock of Redwood City, California and Karen Hardin of Pompano Beach, Florida, his grandchildren Judd, Zachary and Jamie Zagata and her fiancée, Joseph DiBenedetto. Walter is also survived by his brother, Frank Zagata and his wife Theresa of Sayreville, his sister-in-law Julie Zagata of Sayreville and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held Monday 8:30 AM from the Maliszewski Memorial Home, 121 Main Street, Sayreville followed by a 9AM Mass at Saint Stanislaus Kostka R. C. Church in Sayreville with burial to follow at Saint Stanislaus Cemetery, Sayreville. Calling hours at the funeral home will be Sunday from 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM. The following groups will hold services on Sunday at the funeral home: American Legion Post 211 7:15 PM, V.F.W. Post 4699 7:30 PM, Sayreville Knights of Columbus Council 2061 8:30 PM, and K of C 2061 4th Degree Assembly will stand honor guard from 7 PM until services at 8:45 PM. In lieu of flowers the family has requested that donations be made to Walter J. Zagata Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o P.O. Box 129, Sayreville, N.J. 08872. Letters of condolences may be sent to the family at www.maliszewskimemorialhome.com
Published in Home News Tribune from Jan. 25 to Jan. 26, 2013