Conrad J. “Connie” Zynda, 88, a Stevens Point native, died Saturday, March 24, 2012, at Mount View Care Center in Wausau.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Wausau, with the Rev. Robert Thorn officiating.
Entombment will be in Memorial Chapel Mausoleum at Restlawn Memorial Park in Wausau.
Visitation will be at Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home Wausau from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and at the church from 10 a.m. Wednesday until the Mass.
Memorials may be directed to the Humane Society of Marathon County or the New Life Pet Adoption Center in Marathon.
Condolence may be offered online at www.petersonkraemer.com.
Mr. Zynda was born April 17, 1923, in Stevens Point, a son of the late Basil and Rose Zynda. At the age of 6, he was playing the harmonica on the local radio station and was paid in the form of two milkshakes and a free pass to the Sunday matinee. After high school, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) where he helped build the toboggan course on Rib Mountain and park shelters at various parks in central Wisconsin.
After one year, the CCC shut down and he joined the Air Force where he worked as a crew chief for the B17 airplanes at locations including Florida, the Philippines and Hawaii. He played on several football and baseball teams throughout his military career, acquiring the nicknames “Moose” and “Horse.”
After four years in the Air Force, he decided to try out for the Philadelphia Phillies and he was one of three of the 150 candidates who made the team. When the Phillies discovered he was 24 years old, they considered him “too old” to play professional baseball, but he played triple AAA league baseball for a few years.
He was married to Elizabeth C. Peskie in July of 1950. She died in November of 2010.
Mr. Zynda took a job as an over-the-road truck driver for the Glendenning Company, where he worked for 33 years until the company closed. During his years on the road, he ran routes in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois.
He umpired for the Wausau Legion baseball team at Athletic Park. He volunteered for church-related activities for St. Matthew Catholic Church, playing the accordion, harmonica and the slide guitar.
Survivors include two sons, Randy Zynda, Ringle, and Andy (Barb), Wausau; two daughters, Candy (Rick) Ostrowski, Wausau, and Renee (Monty) Scheel, Weston; one sister, Bernie Prondzinski; one brother, Dave; and seven grandchildren.
He was also preceded in death by one daughter, Sandy Gaulke; one sister, Gerry Sward; and one brother, Basil.