We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at J. F. Rice Funeral Home, Inc.
Rudy was born Sept 18, 1935 in Binghamton NY, youngest son of the late John and Anna (Prokop) Zavada. He passed away at home 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’s 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 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 had a debilitating stroke, he devoted himself to his new care giving responsibilities. Rudy was a devout Catholic, a devoted husband and father. He was a hardworking family man who gave everything he could to his family. 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 went out of his way to help those in need. He was a loving father who did anything for his kids that he could do. He taught us to always do our best and to take pride in our work, to be responsible, dependable, and hard working. For years he worked the night shift. Every once in a while, he would pick up a hot pie at Duff’s, bring it home, and wake us up, just to share some special time together. We watched the sun come up together. During thunderstorms, we would sit on the porch and watch the storm roll through, hearing stories of angels in heaven who were bowling. When they got a strike, it would thunder. We stayed up to watch the first moon landing because it was an historic moment and he wanted us to witness it. There was singing in round on our frequent road trips. Down by the Old Mill Stream, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall, Don’t Fence Me In. Stories of Old John Henry, Paul Bunyon, Rip VanWinkle, and Masti Huba. We looked for leprechauns on St. Patrick’s Day. His favorite vacation was Seaside Heights, New Jersey with extended family. The beach all day, boardwalk at night, deep sea fishing, the crabbing pier. Even on vacation, we attended Church. Catskill Game Farm. Lake George. Coal mine tours. Utica Club Brewery. Zoos, amusement parks, 5-Mile point for dirt track races, Herkimer Diamond mine. Smelt fishing at Salmon Creek. He chaperoned school trips. He really enjoyed being around kids, and the high school co-ops loved working with him at IBM. . In his younger years, Rudy also enjoyed, hunting, fishing, gardening, cookouts, playing Pinochle, roller skating, huge family dinners, and he danced a mean Polka. He taught us so many things. Despite many challenges later in life, he still enjoyed being outdoors, feeding the squirrels, puttering in the garden, visits with family, and being with his dog. He will be fondly remembered for his big heart, his kind deeds, his generosity and all of the quality time he spent with his family making memories. He was preceded in death 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 Theresa Zavada. He is also survived by his grandson, Ethan, and his grand-daughter, Danielle (Justin Connolly) and two great grandchildren, Quinton and Ava, his very special dog, Mouse, as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins. S PÁNEM BOHEM Rudy was a member of Ss Cyril and Method Church, Clinton St., Binghamton. A funeral Mass will be Offered 10 AM Wednesday May 11, 2022 at SS Cyril and Method Church. Burial will be in Slovak Catholic Cemetery. Friends may call at the Church Wednesday from 9 AM until the time of the service.