Services this week for Robert Zaitz
Robert James “Bob” Zaitz was born May 1, 1930 in Leadville, the son of Frank Zaitz, Jr. and Mary Fink Zaitz. He is preceded in death by his wife of 52 years Mary Ellen Zaitz; his beloved son Robbie; his sister June Franzen; and his two brothers, Joe and Frank Zaitz. Zaitz attended St. Mary’s Grammar School through 8th grade and graduated from Leadville High School in 1948. While attending the University of Colorado in Boulder he received his draft notification for the United States Army and was inducted in 1951. As a Sergeant First Class during the Korean Conflict, Zaitz refused a field promotion to 2nd Lieutenant wanting to return to his beloved Leadville. While in the Army, Zaitz was an instructor in heavy weapons and was awarded a Combat Infantry Badge, United Nations Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with one Bronze Star and was honorably discharged in 1953.Zaitz married Mary Ellen Bader on Feb. 20, 1954. To this union were born three children. Zaitz spent his life as a Leadville businessman. He was the owner of the Cloud City Restaurant and Lounge and then later owned and operated Leadville Super Foods. Drawn back into civic duty, Zaitz spent over 14 years on city council and one term as mayor of Leadville. He served on the board of directors of St. Vincent’s General Hospital and the Chamber of Commerce and started the Jr. Chamber of Commerce.Zaitz was also a member of the American Legion, a member and Post Commander of VFW and, in 1980, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve as a Selective Service Representative for Colorado, a post he held for 20 years. On May 1, 2004, Zaitz was honored by Mayor Bud Elliott and the Leadville City Council, proclaiming “Bob Zaitz Day.” Hard Rock Square, which Zaitz had so diligently worked on as mayor, was renamed “Bob Zaitz Park” to honor his dedication and commitment to the city. Zaitz will be remembered for his love of Leadville and for his natural sense of humor, which was a delight to all. He is survived by his daughter Laura Mahl and her husband Karl of Trabuco Hills, Calif.; David Zaitz and his wife Karen of Dillon; his two grandchildren Sydney Zaitz Mahl and Nicholas Connor Zaitz, to whom he was devoted; his sister-in-law Edith Seppi of Leadville; nephew Kent Zaitz (Diane Zaitz and great nephew Justin Zaitz) of Boulder; nephew Joe Franzen of Leadville; sister-in-law Mildred Persons of Tennessee; and an abundance of friends and colleagues. A rosary will be said at 6 p.m. on Thursday at St. Joseph’s Church in Leadville. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday at St. Joseph’s Church in Leadville. The family would like to thank Teresa and Jeff Rutkey, as well as Tina and Bob Tekansik for all of their love and support throughout Zaitz’s illness. Without their care, consideration and love, Zaitz would not have been able to have his wish of staying in his home in Leadville until his death. In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations are being accepted by St. Vincent Hospital Foundation.
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