Peter (Pete/Petie) J. Zerga, 78, passed away unexpectedly at home in Summerfield, Florida (formerly of West Salem, Ohio) on Friday, January 15th, 2021. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island on May 30th, 1942 to James and Margaret (Evans) Zerga, who both preceded him in death. He married Jeanne (Boryczka) on August 25th, 1984 and she survives.
After attending school in Wesley, Massachusetts (with his Bostonian accent) and due to his father changing jobs and moving to California in his senior year, he graduated from Burbank High School. Pete joined and proudly served in the US Navy as a medic from 1960-1964. He moved to Detroit and got a job at the Ford Motor Company’s Rouge Plant hanging the doors on the Mustang. He worked his way up (and obtained a master’s degree from Baldwin Wallace College), eventually retiring from the Ford Cleveland Engine Plant after 37 years of service as a Six Sigma Black Belt Quality Manager. He was a hard working provider for his family who in his spare time loved helping his daughter Dani with her math homework (not really) while cheering her on at her many events and milestones and encouraging his son Craig to also join the Navy, and setting a great example for him on how to be a wonderful father and husband. Over his life, he taught his children so, so many things, except one – how to navigate this time to start to live without him.
He SO incredibly loved his children and grandchildren who he would drop anything for at a moment’s notice if they needed him. Pete also LOVED puzzling, golfing, woodworking, making stain-glassed creations, listening to music (Abba and old-time country) and taking meticulous care of his lawn in West Salem for 20+ years. You could find him cheering on the Cleveland Browns and most evenings in the summer listening to Tom Hamilton announce the Cleveland Indians game. He and Jeanne also enjoyed traveling, which took them across the US, throughout Europe, Japan and on many cruises. Often during their trips, they were accompanied by their children, grandchildren and friends. His determination, perseverance and dedication when life doesn’t go as expected is an example everyone can learn from.
In addition to the love of his life Jeanne, he is survived by his children who adored him: Craig (Cynthia) Zerga of Wooster, OH, Dani Horvath of Findlay, OH. He was a beloved grandfather of Charmaine (Ken) Zerga, Camille Zerga, and Evan Van Vorhis, and great grandson Colin Fitzpatrick. Also surviving are his siblings Joan (Larry) Trollen, Lacey, WA and Steve (Penny) Zerga of Santa Ana, CA, brother-in-law Stan (Marie) Boryczka of Brunswick, OH and many nieces and nephews. Pete also leaves behind neighbors and friends who were like family throughout the Stonecrest community.
No formal service is being held at this time and a private family event will be held at a later date in Ohio. Pete was a kind a kind, generous man of few words who has left an irreplaceable impact on those that knew and loved him. We are heartbroken with his loss and request in lieu of flowers, please take time make a call or visit with a friend or family member you love or maybe haven’t seen in a while (and maybe even spend an afternoon with them building a puzzle to honor Pete) because time is shorter than you think, and when they pass, memories will be all that you have to bring you comfort. Also, have a piece of “chock -o-lat” (aka chocolate) to celebrate Petie’s well lived life!
Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near; still loved, still missed and very dear” – Anonymous
“There will never be a day where I won’t think of you and wish that you were by my side.” — Unknown