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Roger W. Zailskas

Company L-1
22 Apr 1939 - 19 Jul 2021
Place of Death: Boothwyn, PA
Interment: Washington Crossing National Cemetery, Newtown, PA.

It is with great regret and sorrow that I must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Roger Zailskas, on 19 July 2021 in Boothwyn, PA.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Patricia McGuire Zailskas; his children, Melanie Waldron (Andrew) and Douglas Zailskas (Hana); his grandchildren, Roman Zailskas, Benjamin Waldron, and Michael Waldron; and his siblings, Carol, Lorrie, Daniel, Lenny, Marty, Gloria and Ray.

Funeral services and burial are private

Condolences may be sent to Patricia at 4 Kings Court, Boothwyn, PA  19061-4252.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Roger’s memory may be sent to Disabled American Veterans, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH  45250-0301.

 

Remembrances:

Class Memorial Pages\L-1 Roger Zailskas.pdf

It was our senior year at West Point.  Underdog Army was scheduled to play nationally ranked Syracuse with All American running back Ernie Davis called “The Express”.  The game was played on November 5, 1960 at Yankee Stadium and the whole Corps was there.  The following is from an article about the game:

“Army stole the on-field show as well.  Playing their most inspired game in years, the Cadets forced Syracuse into costly mistakes.  One penalty helped Army reach the Syracuse 12, where Tom Blanda kicked a field goal.  A fumble on the Army 20 cost Syracuse its one real threat to score in the first half.  At half time, the Orange band marched and the “national champion” baton twirler performed.  But the corps roared back with choruses of On, Brave Old Army Team.  Then, in the third quarter, with Fullback Al Rushatz doing most of the carrying, Army moved swiftly and scored when sub Quarterback Dick Eckert faked two handoffs and cut inside end from the two.  Army led 9-0.

Then Syracuse came to life.  Ernie Davis ate up 37 yards on two runs and, when Army braced, Dick Easterly passed to Ken Ericson for a touchdown.  Syracuse grabbed the ball again but Army stopped the Orange.  With fourth and 10 on the Syracuse 39, Tom Bilburg dropped back in punt formation.  Army scouts had seen the Orange fake a kick in similar situations and had alerted Coach Dale Hall.  Hall played for the fake and, when Gilburg threw a particularly wobbly pass, Army was ready.  Roger Zailskas intercepted and that was all.  The game ended 9-6 with Army on the Syracuse one and a mob of Cadets jumping up and down on the sideline.  They swept Hall and their team right off the field and on toward Annapolis.”

Bob Hampton

Obituaries::

Roger W. Zailskas
July 19, 2021

Roger W. Zailskas, 82, of Boothwyn, died on July 19, 2021 at Taylor Hospital.  Born in Waterbury, CT, son of the late Prosper and Emma Dumschott Zailskas, he had previously lived in Chadds Ford.

Roger was a graduate of Crosby High School, class of 1957 where he played baseball, football and basketball.  He then graduated from West Point in 1961 where he played baseball and football.  After graduation he served in the US Army during the Vietnam War.  He was employed as a National Sales Manager at ICI and was a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Roger was an avid sportsman, who loved golf and bass fishing, but most important was his loving family.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Patricia McGuire Zailskas, his children; Melanie Waldron (Andrew) and Douglas Zailskas (Hana), his grandchildren; Roman Zailskas, Benjamin Waldron and Michael Waldron and his siblings; Carol, Lorrie, Daniel, Lenny, Marty, Gloria and Ray.

Funeral Service and Burial private.

Memorial gifts may be made to Disabled American Veterans, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301 

 

Roger Zailskas, eldest son of the late Prosper and Emma Zailskas, life long residents of Waterbury,CT passed away peacefully on the evening of July 19th.

As a youngster attending St. Joseph Parochial School, Roger discovered what was to be one of his greatest loves -- that of baseball, starting as the second baseman on the Cardinal's Little League Team!

Crosby High School, in the early 1950's, provided Roger the opportunity to develop his natural talents in sports as he expanded into football, basketball, as well as baseball. He enjoyed the challenge of competition without ever losing sight of being a team player and the importance of camaraderie in winning or accepting defeat. He was a slashing halfback on Crosby's undefeated 1955 football team, rning All-City onors. On the baseball field as the second baseman, he compiled a .420 batting average.

Overall, he left his mark as a true varsity "3 Letterman" graduating in 1957.

Although he was recruited by the Milwaukee Braves, Red Sox, Cubs, and the Dodgers, He aspired to and was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point to earn his college degree and to serve his country. Roger's experience at the "Point" confirmed and strengthened his sense of values. He played on the 1958 undefeated football team, along side such greats as All-American Pete Dawkins, Bob Anderson, and Bill Carpenter. During his four years, he proved his athletic abilities in football and baseball as a true team player. Among his many accomplishments are two outstanding instances: In the 1960 Army-Syracuse football rivalry, he intercepted a Syracuse pass i n the last minutes of the game to secure the Army upset victory and secondly having the honor as a starting member of the Army baseball team to play against the Yankees and personally meet and be photographed with the great Mickey Mantle.

Roger graduated from the Academy in 1961 with the motto "Second to None" and immediately assumed a leadership role in the Vietnam War. He opted to become an Airborne Ranger and his active participation in the conflict was documented in the Life Magazine June 12, 1964 edition. He refused to leave his men when his first tour ended, and he enlisted for a second tour. In the end, Capt. Zailskas was awarded many medals including the Purple Heart, three Bronze Stars, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.

He returned home in 1965, married and had two children. He spent much of his career in the chemical industry in sales and management. For many years, he was the National Sales Manager for ICI. A member o f the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, Roger was also an avid sportsman, hunting, fishing, and playing golf. He loved spending his winters at his condo near Lake Okeechobee.

He leaves behind his wife of 55 years, Patricia (McGuire) Zailskas, two children Melanie Waldron (Andrew) and Douglas Zailskas (Hana), and three grandchildren Roman Zailskas, Benjamin Waldron and Michael Waldron. He is also survived by four sisters and three brothers: Carol Jobe, Dalton, NH; Lorraine Abbott, Marlborough, CT; Dan Zailskas, Del Rey Beach, FL; Marty Zailskas, Brookline, MA; Len Zailskas, Gainesville, FL; Gloria Zailskas Long, Old Saybrook, CT; and Ray Zailskas, Farmington, CT.

He will be remembered as a caring and loving person, mentor to all related and know him, but most importantly, he lived his life with honor and integrity.

There is a Hebrew Proverb: Say not in grief "he is no more but live in thankfulness that he was".

We miss you , Roger

Your Brothers and Sisters

Funeral Services and Burial are Private. Should you wish to express your sympathy and sign the Guestbook, please visit the website: www.whiteluttrell.com

Memorial gifts may be made to: Disabled American Veterans PO Box 14301 Cincinnati, OH 45250