Paul was born Wednesday August 02, 1916 in New York City to parents who immigrated from the Ukraine. His wife's obituary states he was born in Berne, New York.. His parents were Peter Zuk and Anna Leskow.
Marriage and Children
He spent three years after the war in the city, working as a taxicab mechanic before moving to Berne in 1948. The next year, he purchased the Austin Shultes farm on Canaday Hill Road and ran a dairy farm there until 1975. Mr. Zuk's work wasn't confined just to farming. In his early years at the farm, he would drive a snowplow for the county in the winter months. He then worked for decades as a bus driver and mechanic for the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District.
He served in the United States Army from 1941 to 1945 in New Guinea and the Philippines.
Mr. Zuk died on Friday, September 1, 2006, at the Avenue Nursing and Rehab Center in Schenectady.
[Berne]--Paul Zuk--a farmer, a mechanic, a woodworker--was a man of many talents, all cultivated through hard work and shared with generosity. He spent most of his life in Berne where he and his wife, Mary Kozar Zuk, raised three children. Mr. Zuk died on Friday, September 1, 2006, at the Avenue Nursing and Rehab Center in Schenectady. He was 90. "He was so patient," said his son and eldest child, Alan Zuk. "I don't recall him raising his voice--ever. However, when he said something, you did it. There was no discussion. It was the law of the family...not in an aggressive or bad way." Mr. Zuk also said, "He had such a work ethic; it was a great influence on me and my two sisters." Paul Zuk was born in New York City to parents who came from the Ukraine. "My grandmother stowed away and came through the original Ellis Island," said Alan Zuk. "She lied about her age to get in." Paul Zuk's father was a chef and his mother was a homemaker. He spent his early years in New York City before the family moved to a farm in Berne. "It was at Zuk's Four Corners," said Alan Zuk. Paul Zuk got a strong work ethic from his father and learned generosity from his mother, said his son. Alan Zuk described him as "absolutely generous, like his mother." He went on, "When you visited Grandma--she didn't have much--you came home with more than you brought. Even if your visit was unannounced, you came home with something she baked or canned or sewed." Paul Zuk was a World War II veteran. He served in the United States Army from 1941 to 1945 in New Guinea and the Philippines. "He worked in vehicle maintenance close to the front lines; he carried a weapon," said his son of Mr. Zuk's military service. "He really never talked about it much...He said many times he wouldn't take a million dollars for the experience, but he wouldn't do it over." Mr. Zuk married Mary Kozar in New York City while on leave in January of 1942. He spent three years after the war in the city, working as a taxicab mechanic before moving to Berne in 1948. The next year, he purchased the Austin Shultes farm on Canaday Hill Road, now owned by Laurel Dover and Duncan Searl. He ran a dairy farm there until 1975. He had a sense of the natural order of life," said his son. "He knew the time to plant, the time to watch things grow, the time to harvest." His son went on, "He would be so patient. When weather was bad, he would wait. Maybe it would be a Sunday or when you had other plans, but you would do the business of farming." Paul Zuk was a member of the Albany Cooperative Extension Service and the Farm Bureau. He was also a member of the Beaverdam Reformed Church and the First Reformed Church of Berne. The two churches shared a minister and, when the congregation dwindled at the Beaverdam church, it combined with the church in Berne. "I am fortunate enough to have grown up on the family farm and spent countless hours with my father operating machinery, driving the tractor from an early age," said Alan Zuk. "It gives you a sense there's a job to do...You start the job, you finish the job." Mr. Zuk admired his father's strength. "During the summer, he would hire teenagers to help him harvest the hay crop," recalled his son. "He wouldn't show off his strength. But he could throw a hay bale like people throw a shot put... "Some of the teenagers would try to do it. They couldn't come close; I never could. It was strength and technique. He demonstrated he was the strongest guy around. He didn't do it to brag." Mr. Zuk's strength was matched by his stamina. "He was the hardest worker," said Alan Zuk. He recalled when, as a teenager, his parents would take a weekend away, leaving him and his two sisters to do the farm work. "I would literally be exhausted with what he did day in, day out," said Alan Zuk. "He would work 14, 15 hours a day." Mr. Zuk's work wasn't confined just to farming. In his early years at the farm, he would drive a snowplow for the county in the winter months. He then worked for decades as a bus driver and mechanic for the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District. When Alan Zuk became BKW's transportation supervisor, he would call on his father to fill in for absent mechanics. "It was a pleasure to have him with me," said Mr. Zuk. "He was a great mechanic; he needed no supervision. He could fix anything." His father had the ability to analyze a problem, and solve it, Mr. Zuk said. "He would take it as a challenge if someone said something was beyond repair. He'd get whatever it was back running again." At the end of his work day, Paul Zuk would spend time in his wood shop. Over the years, he completed a wide variety of projects, ranging from the practical--step stools, chairs, and tables--to the fanciful, such as exquisitely crafted doll houses. He sometimes found his materials in odd places. Once, on a trip to the town landfill, his son recalled, "He spied some oak boards. He brought them back home and turned them into a table for the kids." Mr. Zuk also transformed discarded household objects into finery for his miniature houses. The plastic cork from a bottle of sparkling wine, for example, served as a splendid lamp in a doll-house living room. Mr. Zuk could replicate an object just by looking at it. For example, his son said, he once saw a clothes hamper in a department store. "He took a snapshot and built it from scratch," said his son. "We have it in our house. When he retired from farming, his projects got much larger," said Mr. Zuk. "He made roll-top desks and a replica of his farmhouse." His proudest moment as a woodworker came when Jack Norray Jr. took his doll house to a Woodworkers' Society convention in Saratoga. "Everybody hung around his doll house," said Mr. Zuk. "Someone wanted to rent it to display the miniature furniture he made; someone else wanted to exhibit it at a museum." Describing his father's doll houses as "art work," Mr. Zuk went on, "It was never his intention to show off his work." Paul Zuk, often gave his handiwork away. If someone asked him to build something, said his son, "He took barely enough or the materials." He built things not to show off, but to make others happy. "He built kitchen sets for his grandchildren," said Mr. Zuk. "He took pleasure in giving things away." In assition to his wife, Mary Kozar Zuk, Mr. Zuk is survived by three children, Alan Zuk and his wife Mildred, of Berne, Joan Pearson and her husband, Jonathan, of Glenville, and Marilyn Warner and her husband, Dennis, of Amherst, New Hampshire; four grandchildren, Stephanie and Laura Zuk and Jonathan and Christopher Pearson; and one sister, Stephanie (Tessie) Youmans of Schenectady. A funeral service was held on Monday at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Reformed Church of Berne, Berne, NY 12023 or to the Helderberg Ambulance Squad, Post Office Box 54, East Berne, NY 12059.
Published in The Altamont Enterprise, Page 19, 7 Sep 2006 Issue.
ZUK, PAUL: Newspaper Obituary and Death Notice
Times Union, The (Albany, NY) - Saturday, September 2, 2006
Deceased Name: ZUK, PAUL
BERNE -- Paul Zuk, 90, died Friday, September 1, 2006 at the Avenue Nursing and Rehab Center in Schenectady.
Paul served in the U.S. Army from 1941 through 1945 in New Guinea and the Philippines. He married his wife, Mary Kozar Zuk in New York City while on leave in January of 1942. He spent three years in New York City working as a taxicab mechanic before moving to Berne in 1948. He purchased the Austin Shultes farm in 1949 and operated it until 1975. Mr. Zuk also worked as a school bus driver and mechanic during this time. He designed and built doll houses and was a member of the former Beaverdam Reformed Church and the First Reformed Church of Berne. He was a member of the Albany Cooperative Extension Service and the Farm Bureau.
In addition to his wife, survivors include three children, Alan (Mildred) Zuk of Berne, Joan (Jonathan) Pearson of Glenville and Marilyn (Dennis) Warner of Amherst, N.H.; four grandchildren, Stephanie and Laura Zuk and Jonathan and Christopher Pearson; one sister, Stephanie (Tessie) Youmans of Schenectady.
A funeral service will be held on Monday at 3 p.m. at the Fredendall Funeral Home, Altamont. Friends may call on Monday from 1-3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make contributions to the First Reformed Church of Berne, Berne, NY 12023 or the Helderberg Ambulance Squad, PO Box 54, East Berne, NY 12059.
Edition: 3 Page: B8 Copyright, 2006, (c) Times Union. All Rights Reserved.
Sympathy is extended to the Zuk family on the death of Paul's mother, 99 year old Anna Zuk, at the Glendale Nursing Home last Friday. (October 23, 1992)
- Altamont Enterprise - Thursday, October 29, 1992 )
Paul Zuk: Social Security Death Index (SSDI) Death Record
Name: Paul Zuk
State of Issue: New York
Date of Birth: Wednesday August 02, 1916
Date of Death: Friday September 01, 2006
Est. Age at Death: 90 years, 30 days
Last known residence:
City: Berne; South Berne; West Berne
State: New York
ZIP Code: 12023
- The Altamont Enterprise, Page 19, 7 Sep 2006 Issue.
- The Altamont Enterprise, Page 18, 28 Feb 2008 Issue.