Walter Zakrzewski

Obituary of Walter Zakrzewski

Walter Joseph Zakrzewski of Burlington MA, originally from South Bend Indiana, passed away peacefully at his home on September 12, with his wife Rosemarie at his side. Walter was 87.

Walt is survived by his beloved wife, soulmate, and best friend of 40 years, Rosemarie (Cellucci-Zeoli) Zakrzewski.  He was the devoted father to Michael Zakrzewski and wife Wilma Jean, and Richard Zakrzewski.  He was the attentive stepfather to William Zeoli and wife Kimberley; Anthony Zeoli and wife Melissa “Missy”; Michelle Usseglio and partner James Kelley; Deborah Butler & her husband Douglas.  He was the proud grandfather of Michael Zakrzewski, Jr. and his wife Julie; Danielle Oliver and her husband Joseph; December Pope and her husband Michael; Samantha Jodrie and her husband Christopher; Amanda Tyree and her husband Richard. Walt delighted in the companionship of his younger grandchildren Julia Fournier; Sabrina Zeoli; Eleanor, Edward and James Butler. He missed dearly his late grandson Douglas Usseglio. He lived long enough to celebrate and enjoy the stories and photos of his great grandchildren Michael III, George, Ashlyn, Brayden, Aubrey, Addison, Noah, Liam, and Lincoln.  He is also survived by many dear friends. 

Walt was born in South Bend, Indiana and grew up in Bristol, Indiana.   He was the son of Walter S. and Anna M. Zakrzewski, later the stepson of Ruth Ann (Derr) Zakrzewski.  Growing up in South Bend, Walt knew and loved the University of Notre Dame, and it was his greatest joy to attend Notre Dame from 1954 to 1958.  He was a member of the revered marching band and graduated with a degree in chemical engineering.  He would later earn his master’s degree from Drexel University. Being a Notre Dame Alumni was like being in a special club or part of an extended family.  Walt had season tickets to the football games and avidly followed the women’s basketball team.  He wouldn’t hesitate to drive out to South Bend to see his mom, dad and stepmom, uncles and cousins ,for games, reunions, or just for a nostalgic visit and to walk the campus and share his college stories with his wife.  The buildings hold a special place in his heart and he was honored to walk on campus with members of his graduating class on their 50th reunion. His and Rosemarie’s home is filled with Notre Dame memorabilia, pictures from visits, a room painted in Notre Dame colors with a 5-foot mural of the ND Leprechaun. 

Walter’s career was a long and distinguished one, with success at every venture. He began his career in  Chicago with Victor Chemical Works, Chicago Heights, and Nelco Chemical then moved on to Dewey and Almy in Cambridge Massachusetts. That success led him to manage the Dewey and Almy plant for 11 years in Woodbury, NJ, while simultaneously acting as president of the local United Way chapter.  A new opportunity brought him to Massachusetts again, with Amicon in Danvers, MA, his time divided managing the US manufacturing plant in Danvers, as well as two others overseas in Stonehouse, England, and Raheen, Ireland.  He ended his career with Hewlett Packard Medical Division (Agilent/Philips Medical) in Andover.  In his retirement years, he ran a home-based consulting business with his wife for 10 years and worked part time for the IRS in Andover.

Walter was a man who was always in perpetual motion.  He was an avid golfer and shared that passion with his wife.  They played all over New England, during their travels of the US as well as in Hawaii and even Aruba.  He played tennis regularly and was highly competitive at ping pong.  He was a 10-pin bowler until the age of 85, bowling an envious 235 . Walt loved to travel, always up for a road trip or weekend away. During the drive he would play his big band music, Frank Sinatra, and the Mills Brothers and spend hours talking about everything and anything with his wife.  He and Rosemarie were inseparable, watching sports, going to the theatre, working in the yard. Walt was a bountiful gardener, his peonies should have won prizes and he tended his yard, his garden, his impatiens with the precision only an engineer could muster. Walt would build a brick wall in the morning, bowl at night, and still have time to chat in the evening over a favored show with his wife. He was a master miniature golfer and not a bad driver either. He loved Kimball Farm ice-cream. He shared a special bond with his sons and grandson over their love of Notre Dame football, and he loved visiting his family and receiving emails and calls and photos detailing their accomplishments and celebrations. Walt’s Massachusetts granddaughters will be eternally grateful for the annual summer trips and his and Rosemarie’s commitment to slumber parties, egg hunts, cookie making and tree decorating. The three girls formed a bond unlike any other in their care.

Walt will be remembered for his compassion, intelligence, ability to work with others, easy going personality, spirit, and the love he shared with family and friends.

Wake will be held in a private residence on Sunday, September 17 from 1 to 7pm.  Guests may arrive at any time, as no formal remarks are offered. Viewing and Reception will be held in separate rooms. The family invites you to linger for coffee, pastries, and reminiscing. Please contact a family member for address.

Memorials in Walter’s name may be made to HELPIS,, P.O. Box 343, Burlington, MA 01803.  Please no flowers.

Arrangements by the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, Burlington, MA. 

For obituray, online guestbook, and video tribute see

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