James L. Zechiel, or ‘Zeke’ as he was commonly known, died at age 79 on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at Genesis Hospice-Morrison House, Zanesville. He was born in 1941, in Dover, a son of the late John Nevin and Mary Eleanor (Froelich) Zechiel. Jim graduated from Dover High School, a basketball and football player. He attended The Ohio State University, graduated from Muskingum College and obtained a Master’s degree in Education from Xavier University. He was passionate about coaching boys basketball and football at West Muskingum High School, where he taught science, before embarking upon a career in school administration in Morgan Local Schools, and then at the Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center where he retired. Zeke enjoyed the company of his many friends and never knew a stranger. He enjoyed golfing, fishing, playing cards, researching collectibles and investigating his next car purchase. He was the face of any operation, especially Operation Fun. Until his final days, he maintained he would have dominated OSU basketball, if not for the unfortunate timing of the Havlicek and Lucas era.
He is survived by his wife, Dayle M. (Van Gieson) Zechiel; a son, James C. Zechiel; a daughter, Kristy Zechiel; a step-son, David Van Gieson; a step-daughter, Lisa (Van Gieson) Belding; and a sister, Mary Christina (Zechiel) Dunstan.
No services will be held at this time, a Celebration of Life is anticipated in the summer of 2021.
Charitable donations can be made in lieu of flowers to Genesis Hospice-Morrison House and Immanuel Church in Zanesville.
Dignified and professional services entrusted to BOLIN-DIERKES FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY, 1271 BLUE AVENUE, ZANESVILLE, OHIO.
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