MIDDLETOWN, Wis. - Harry David Zook, 96, died on July 4, 2012, at his home in Middleton, Wis.
Born Feb. 8, 1916, in Milroy, the only child of Samuel Milton and Emma (Smucker) Zook, he was raised as a member of the Amish Mennonite community in Belleville. Harry grew up in Big Valley.
He left his Amish roots as a teenager, graduating from Penn State University in 1938 with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry. After earning a doctorate in 1942, he joined the chemistry faculty at Penn State, where he lived and worked for the next 40 years. He coauthored a textbook, Synthetic Organic Chemistry, in 1953. At Penn State, he served as assistant head of the Department of Chemistry, vice president of research, director of intercollege research programs and associate dean of the graduate school.
Harry David Zook
After his retirement from Penn State, Harry moved to Winter Park, Fla., where he devoted himself full time to his interest in genealogy. He and his wife, Margaret, traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe, visiting courthouses, libraries, and cemeteries. Harry's interest was tracing the descendants of 18th century Amish Zook immigrants to America and investigating their origins in Europe. His first "Zug/Zuck/Zouck/Zook Genealogy" was published in 1983, but he continued his research for another 25 years, publishing a revised and updated second edition in 2009, at the age of 93. More information is available at www.harryzook.com.
Harry was preceded in death by his wife, Margaret (Olsen).
He is survived by: his children, Stephen M. Zook, of State College, and Terri Zook Johnson, of Madison, Wis.; his grandchildren, Michael Zook, Daniel Zook, Amy Zook Castor, Jyothi Froemming and Naveen Froemming; and his great-grandchildren, Mitchell and Oleg Zook. He is also survived by his cousin, Grace Weiler, and long-time friends Louise Warner, Doug Zook and Shelby Woody.
Many thanks to the wonderful people who helped to care for Harry during his final two years in Wisconsin, especially Diane, Oyuna, Dean, Jamie and Marion, of Senior Helpers, staff and neighbors at Middleton Glen and the staff and volunteers at Agrace Hospice.
A memorial gathering to honor Harry's life will be held at 10 a.m. July 22, at Middleton Glen, 6720 Century Ave., Middleton, Wis.
Memorial donations can be made in his name to the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, 2215 Millstream Road, Lancaster, PA 17602, or to the charity of one's choice.
We will miss his analytical and methodical intelligence, his quiet and gentle demeanor, his drive to accomplish his goals, his shy, boyish charm and the twinkle in his blue eyes.
Cress Funeral and Cremation Service, Madison, Wis., is in charge of arrangements.
Please share memories at www.cressfuneralservice.com.