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Jeffrey David Zajicek

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Jeffrey David Zajicek Obituary
June 25, 1965 – June 14, 2005 Today, and every day, Jeff Zajicek is remembered by his family and many friends as a wonderful and kind man who lived his life to the fullest as an adventurer and accomplished pilot with considerable experience, including flying hunters and fishermen in and out of the Alaskan wilderness. Born at Scott Air Force Base, Jeff was bitten early by the beauty of flight which continued at Naperville North High School where he earned his private pilot license. After graduation from Ripon College, Jeff headed west to Wyoming and then on to Alaska where he lived for 10 years, married Cathy and earned his twin engine license, as well as his instrument, instructor and commercial ratings for land, sea and amphibious aircraft. Jeff's flying experience included over 2,000 hours in his aerobatic Citabria 180 and the work horses of the Alaskan bush -the de Havilland Beaver and twin engine Otter. Jeff especially loved flying the Alaskan rivers and lakes on floats and its snow packed valleys on skis. Fate would have it, however, that 13 years ago, Jeff, then a Carson City, Nevada resident along with Cathy and his other skiing and flying companion, Ursa, an Alaskan Husky adopted by Jeff after she was left on an Alaskan road as a young pup, went up by himself for a routine "Sunday ride" out of the Minden-Tahoe airport near Carson City. Jeff did not make it back. Although no specific cause was determined, the incident occurred within a triangular area of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and foothills producing complex atmospheric conditions, including instant high wind bursts and downdrafts. The area, dubbed the "Nevada Triangle," in reference to the Bermuda Triangle, has accounted for a high number of incidents over many years, including the loss of a well- known, record setting aviator two years later, also flying his own Citabria 180 out of an airstrip in the Carson City vicinity. Jeff will always be remembered as a kind and gentle, yet rugged outdoorsman, adventurer and back-country leader who loved flying and who enriched the lives of so many others. Jeff, we miss you and you are forever in our hearts. Dad David Zajicek; Mom Judy Fairchild; Stepmom Lou O'Brien-Zajicek; Wife Cathy; Sister Jill Wickersham; Niece Lindsay Wickersham, and Uncle Rick and Aunt Debbie Zajicek.
Published in a Chicago Tribune Media Group Publication on June 14, 2018
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