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Zazzara, Robert George  
Zazzara, Robert George Age 79, of Elmira Heights, NY, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at the Guthrie Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA. Music educator and motivator, Robert was born in Holley, NY on July 23, 1936 to Rose (Salerno) and George Zazzara. Robert is predeceased by his brothers, Peter, Jim, Joseph and his sisters, Angie and Carmela. He devoted his life to his family, the church and music education. During his 53 years of teaching as a High School Music teacher, Adjunct Professor at Ithaca College and numerous positions and associations with countless Drum and Bugle Corps he deeply impacted the lives of his students and peers with his positive attitude and exceptional teaching abilities. In recent years, he was inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. Music was his passion, God was his savior and Family was his life! Robert had an extensive career which began after receiving his BS in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia and a MS in Music Education from Ithaca College. He served as the Choral music teacher at Thomas A. Edison High School touching students' lives for most of his career. His passion for music extended beyond the classroom into other avenues which served the greater community. These noteworthy accomplishments included working as the Conductor of the Mark Twain Barber Shoppers, the Elmira Symphony and Choral Society as well as the Elmira Little Theater as both a conductor and actor. Robert was the Vocal Music Director at the Bristol Hills Music Camp for 25 years. He was a respected adjudicator for the NYSSMA Solo/Ensemble and Major Organization Festivals. In addition to being Music advisor/instructor with area Marching Bands (Horseheads Blue Raiders, Bath Haverling Marching Band, and Corning East Marching Band) he was the director/instructor/arranger for numerous Drum & Bugle Corps (Dansville White Sabers, Wellsville Blue Devils, Apalachin Grenadiers, Owego Mello-Dears All Girl Corp, Owego Kikapoos, Cardinals of Precious Blood from Canada, Mark Twain Cadets, and Rochester Crusaders). Robert was also extremely active with the St. Charles Borromeo Parish where he served as a cantor, lector and Eucharistic Minister. Robert is survived by his wife Marilyn of nearly 59 years; his children, Cheryl, Robert and wife Wanda, Michael and wife Andrea, Lynne and his loving grandchildren Jeramie and wife Jessica, Alexandra, Nicole, Zachary, and Breanna. Robert was a loving husband, father, uncle and grandfather as well as an inspiring friend to all. Visitation will be held at Barrett Funeral Home, 1004 Lake Street, Elmira, NY on Friday, July 1 from 1:00-3:00 pm and 6:00-8:00 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, July 2 at 11:00 am, at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 130 Oakwood Ave. Elmira, NY. Interment will follow in St. Mary Our Mother Cemetery, 809 Westlake St., Horseheads, NY, with full military honors. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to the Robert G. Zazzara Music Scholarship Fund at: Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, 301 South Main Street, Horseheads, NY 14845, or by visiting www.communityfund.org , click on the "make a donation" drop box.
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Published in Star-Gazette from June 29 to July 1, 2016
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