In Memory

William W. Zinck - Class Of 1965

William W. Zinck

June 2nd, 1947 - May 29th, 2023

Age: 75 years

William Zinck of Merrill, Michigan

Beloved husband, dad, “Papa”, brother, uncle, and friend passed away peacefully at his home, with his family by his side, on Monday, May 29, 2023, at the age of 75 years. Bill was born on June 2, 1947, in Saginaw, Michigan, to the late Wallace E. and Ruth M. (Schultz) Zinck. He was a 1965 graduate of Arthur Hill High School. Following graduation, Bill proudly served his country in the United States Navy aboard the USS Ingraham (DD 694) from 1966 until 1970. While serving in the navy, he completed the Electricians Mate Class “A” School. Upon his honorable discharge, Bill served another two years with the United States Naval Reserve from 1970 to 1972. He married the LUV of his life, Karen Meier, on March 15, 1993, sharing 30 wonderful years together. Bill was employed with General Motors for a total of 37 years until his retirement. The role of his lifetime was to be a loving and devoted husband, dad, and “Papa”. He was a longtime member of the American Legion Post 439, the Eagles Club 497, and the Tin Can Sailors. An avid outdoorsman, Bill enjoyed spending time hunting and fishing. What he truly loved and was passionate about was playing and umpiring fastpitch softball. It was his little piece of heaven and over the years he received many recognitions and accolades. The jack-of-all-trades, he was selfless to anyone that needed help and always willing to impart his wisdom to others. He will forever be remembered for his unconditional love for family, for being “Mr. Fix it” throughout his life, and for truly living an amazing life filled with many beautiful stories and memories.

Surviving besides his wife, Karen, are his, daughters: Carolyn (Steven) Gwisdalla, Tracy Francetic, and Diane (Don) Counts; six grandchildren: Sarah (Jared) Schomaker, Amanda (Michael) Forman, Stephanie (Brandon) Traynor, Kaitlynn Francetic, Joshua (Tayler) Mackey, and Thomas Gwisdalla; and six great-grandchildren: Ayden, Lillyan, Adilynn, and Hazyl Schomaker, Parker and Jaxson Traynor. Also surviving are a sister, Sally (James Paccione) Zinck, brother-in-law, John Wells; a sister-in-law, Sandra Meier; sister-in-law Debbie Dennis; brother-in-law David Meier; a lifelong friend, Gary Samson; and many other extended family members.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Nancy Wells; brother-in-law, Leroy Meier; and mother- and father-in-law, Elizabeth and Alex Lichtenwald.

A Funeral Service will take place at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, June 5, 2023, at W. L. Case & Company Funeral Chapel, 201 N. Miller Road. Deacon Jeff Rauschert will officiate. Burial will follow at Roselawn Memorial Gardens. Friends are welcome to visit with the family at the funeral chapel on Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Monday from 11:00 a.m. until the time of the service. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to the American Diabetes Association or the Merrill Varsity Baseball team.

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05/31/23 04:58 PM #1    

Gary F. Major

Absolutely the best soft ball pitcher I ever faced. A great sportsman as well, Rest in peace Bill

06/01/23 01:36 PM #2    

James Longhurst (Longhurst)

I am really saddened to hear this.  Bill and I were teammates in baseball from junior high through high school and in knothole and Connie Mack leagues.  We were both pitchers/first basemen (he threw right; I threw left) and our coaches would switch us off routinely to throw off the timing of the opposing teams' hitters. Bill had a "sneaky fast" fastball but he was a master "junk" pitcher.  He threw a variety of breaking pitches and was tough to hit.  He taught me how to properly throw a knuckleball...actually a fingernail ball.

I just loved the guy.  When we weren't out in the field we were constantly talking, joking around, and strategizing on how to pitch to certain hitters.  For reasons that escape me now, we called each other "grandma".  It probably started with one of talking about a grandparent but who knows?!

I missed the last reunion but I sat with Bill at the previous one.  He had told me that he lived in Merrill which was on M 46 on the way to Alma where my parents moved to from Saginaw back in 1965.  I had always planned to stop and see him but I always promised myself to do so "next time."  I'm sorry that I didn't.  

I send my love to his family.  


JIm Longhurst

06/01/23 03:21 PM #3    

Bruce Smith

I was so sad to hear of Bill's passing.  My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.  Living close to Merrill Park I played a lot of ball with Bill.  We played together in summer leagues and also at Arthur Hill. He was a great pitcher with an  outstanding curve ball and was sneaky fast.  I am glad I was his catcher and didn't have to face him as a hitter.  Many years passed before I once again  saw Bill.  We teamed up again for one last time at the last reunion.  We sat at a table together tipped our chairs back and caught up and shared our memories of times past.  I can't remember ever spending as much interesting time with Bill as we shared that evening.  I will miss you, old friend

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