Michael Ray Zona

Published 6:10 pm Sunday, April 28, 2024

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May 3,1947 to April 21, 2024

Michael left this earth at his Southern Shores home with his wife Geri by his side. Michael was born to Ruth Harriet Hughes Zona and Albert Joseph (Bucky) Zona on May 3, 1947 in Greensburg, PA, just minutes behind his twin sister, Michele. His parents as well as his two sisters, Michelle Marie Clark and Susan Lynn Ritson predeceased him.

Michael grew up in the Irwin Area, graduating from Norwin High School. He worked at Westinghouse Electric in East Pittsburgh, PA, where he met his wife, Frances Geraldine (Geri) Sullivan. As a metallurgical technician he and his team received 2 patents for their work on the Grand Coulee Dam.

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Michael loved tennis and applied for the job of tennis coach at McKeesport High School, where he built the program from scratch for boys and girls.

He and Geri lived in McKeesport and fell in love with the Outer Banks, where they vacationed every year. They fulfilled their dream of retiring there in January 2000. Michael was active in the Southern Shores Civic Association tennis club, running adult clinics and planning events. He participated in tennis in the Senior Games for many years, until his health prevented him from playing competitive tennis. He coached boys’ tennis at Currituck High School and coached children at the Recreation Center Tennis Camp in Kill Devil Hills.

Michael loved all animals and the environment, and he was an accomplished wildlife and nature photographer. He liked to be busy and if you didn’t find him constructing something for their home, or helping someone with a project, you could find him working in the yard or driving his Jeep to the store.

He was a quick wit who rarely met a person he didn’t like. He knew everybody and everybody knew him. He told his speech therapist that he wanted to make people happy and to feel good.

Michael will be greatly missed by his wife, Geri, his sister-in-law Sharyn Simmons and her husband R.Q., his sister-in-law Pat Gusky and her husband Ron, and his nieces and nephews:  Amy Michele Clark, Susan Lin Mullens, William (Billy) Jennings Bryant Clark, Amanda Lee Cottone, Jeffrey (Jeff) Gusky and Ronald (Ron) Lee Gusky Jr.

Geri plans to schedule a celebration of his life later in the year, date yet to be determined. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to the Outer Banks SPCA Dare County Animal Shelter (obxspca.org/donate) or to a charity of one’s choice.

Condolences and memories may be shared at www.gallopfuneralservices.com. Gallop Funeral Services was entrusted with arrangements.