Rudolph “Rudy” Ronald Zavada, Sr. Obituary

Rudolph “Rudy” Ronald Zavada, Sr.

Rudy was born September 18, 1935 in Binghamton NY, the youngest son of the late John and Anna (Prokop) Zavada. He died at his home on Thursday May 5, 2022 at the age of 86.

After graduating from Binghamton Central High School, where he played football, Rudy served his country as a member of the US Army Engineer Battalion in Germany. When he returned home, he married his high school sweetheart and they started a family. After retiring from IBM Corp. Endicott after 35 years of service, Rudy has enjoyed helping his son with his landscaping business and his daughter with her animal care work. He was always fixing or remodeling something for someone. After his wife suffered a debilitating stroke, he devoted himself to his new responsibilities as a caregiver.

Rudy was a devout Catholic, devoted husband and father. He was a hardworking family man who gave his family everything he could. He was a humble man; friendly, honest, loyal, ethical, tolerant and caring, with a tremendous work ethic. He would give his shirt off his back to a stranger and go out of his way to help those in need. He was a loving father who did everything he could for his children. He taught us to always do our best and to take pride in our work, to be responsible, reliable and hardworking.

For years he worked at night. Once in a while, he’d grab a hot pie from Duff’s, bring it home, and wake us up, just to share a special moment together. We watched the sun rise together. During thunderstorms, we would sit on the porch and watch the storm pass, listening to stories of angels in heaven bowling. When they received a strike, it thundered. We stayed up to watch the first moon landing because it was a historic moment and he wanted us to witness it. He sang in circles during our frequent car trips. By the creek Old Mill, Row, Row, Row your boat, 99 bottles of beer on the wall, Don’t lock me up. Stories of Old John Henry, Paul Bunyon, Rip VanWinkle and Masti Huba. We looked for leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day.

Her favorite vacation was Seaside Heights, New Jersey with her extended family. Beach all day, boardwalk at night, deep sea fishing, crab pier. Even on vacation, we went to church. Catskill Game Farm. Lake George. Visits to coal mines. Utica Club Brewery. Zoos, amusement parks, 5 mile point for trail races, Herkimer Diamond Mine. Smelt fishing at Salmon Creek. He supervised school trips. He really loved being around kids, and high school co-ops loved working with him at IBM.


In his younger years, Rudy also enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening, cooking, playing pinochle, roller-skating, huge family dinners, and he would dance a mean polka. He taught us so many things. Despite many challenges later in life, he still enjoyed being outdoors, feeding the squirrels, tinkering around the garden, visiting his family and being with his dog. He will be fondly remembered for his big heart, his good deeds, his generosity and all the quality time he spent with his family creating memories.

He was predeceased by his wife, Roberta in 2020. He is survived by his children: Rudolph Zavada Jr and his wife, Karen; David Zavada and his wife, Donna; and Therese Zavada. He is also survived by his grandson, Ethan, and his granddaughter, Danielle (Justin Connolly) and two great-grandchildren, Quinton and Ava, his very special dog, Mouse, as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.


Rudy was a member of Ss Cyril and Method Church, Clinton St., Binghamton. A funeral mass will be offered at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at SS Cyril and Method Church.

Burial will be in the Slovak Catholic Cemetery.

Friends can call into the church on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until the time of service.

Arrangements are being made by The JF Rice Funeral Home, Inc. 150 Main Street, Johnson City, New York. Masks required at church.

Posted on May 07, 2022

Posted in Press & Sun-Newsletter

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