Gean Zacharias, age 90, of Lodi, and formerly of Walnut Grove, passed away peacefully on December 26, 2012. He was born on September 18, 1922, in Lodi, California to Ellsworth and Nellie (Mac) Zacharias. Gean came from an agricultural family of five brothers. They were farmers in Clarksburg, South Sacramento's 'Pocket' area, and had other ranches as well. He attended Clarksburg High School where he met the love of his life, Mary Ellen Swanson. Gean was a Naval Pilot during World War II, flying torpedo bombers. After his service, he farmed the ranch along Snodgrass Slough and also ran a small airport up north, where he enjoyed flying and doing air shows. Gean's greatest passion was his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He taught most of them to drive, and they all modeled themselves after his honest and sincere life. They were his living legacy, and he was always happy sharing his stories and wonderful sense of humor with them, as well as teaching them when they would help out on the ranch. He will be dearly missed.
Mr. Zacharias is survived by his beloved wife of 68 years, Mary Ellen Zacharias; daughters, Cheryl (Michael) Mantzouranis, JoAnn (Melvin) Freitas, and Jan (Robert) Hooper; and many cherished grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, January 13, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. in the Banquet Room of Oak Ridge Winery, 6100 E. Highway 12, in Lodi. There is no visitation and a private committal will be held at Sacramento Valley National Cemetery. Lodi Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Jan. 8, 2013