Mr. Edward A. Zilka, age 87, of Gloversville, died Tuesday morning, July 8, 2008, at Nathan Littauer Hospital.
He was born January 16, 1921, in Johnstown, one of fifteen children to the late Michael and Maria Spevak Zilka. He was a 1940 graduate of Johnstown High School, where he was captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams. He hurled several no-hitters in baseball, and was a wingback on the football team.
In the spring of 1942, Ed signed a baseball contract with the Cincinnati Farm Team System. However, the season ended early due to circuit troubles. He then signed with the Glovers Canadian-American Team in July of 1942. Due to World War II the league was disbanded. Ed was called to duty in July of 1942 and served in the US Army. He was stationed in India from October 9, 1942, to October 15, 1945, and worked on the Ledo Road.
Mr. Zilka was employed by G. Levor and Company until it closed. He then worked at Coleco Industries until his retirement in 1984.
He was a member of Sacred Heart Church in Gloversville and the Johnstown Eagles and Sokol clubs. He was a member of the Sportsmen Bowling League from 1956 to 1978. He greatly enjoyed hunting and fishing at the Gooley Club in Newcomb, NY. He also enjoyed traveling with his family throughout Canada, Australia, New Zealand and all fifty of the United States. He also loved to watch his grandson, Christopher, play baseball, football and basketball. He was an avid Yankees and Giants fan, and enjoyed watching World War II and John Wayne movies.
Mr. Zilka was married to Gladys M. Farhart on June 7, 1947, at Sacred Heart Church. Gladys died December 30, 2006. He is survived by two daughters, Marie H. Wojeski and her husband Gregory (whom Ed considered to be his own son) and Linda J. Zilka of Gloversville; a grandson, Christopher G. Wojeski and his wife Jennifer; many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was predeceased by fourteen brothers and sisters, Anthony, Vandeline, Joseph and Stephen Zilka, Anna Zilka Jarzab, Frank and Michael Zilka, Florence Zilka Lansing, Elizabeth Zilka Sprung, Rudolph Zilka, Mary Zilka Joseph, Rosemarie Zilka; and two children who died in Slovakia before Michael and Maria came to America.
The family will receive relatives and friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Kobuskie-Konik Funeral Home, 51 Fremont St., Gloversville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Friday at Sacred Heart Church, Gloversville. Interment will take place at St. Anthony's Cemetery, Johnstown. Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to the Edward A. Zilka Memorial Scholarship Fund, Johnstown High School, 2 Wright Drive, Johnstown, NY 12095.
Please visit the family's online guest book at www.brbsfuneral.com.