The Rev. Dr. Robert F. Zanker, 74, of Mechanicsburg, passed away Saturday, March 1, 2008, in the Green Ridge Retirement Community, Newville.
Born in Danville on January 8, 1934, he was the son of the late A. Charles and Roberta Kohler Zanker.
Robert served the Central PA United Methodist Conference for 43 years as Minister in many different communities and District Superintendent of the Altoona District. He retired in 1999 but remained active in the church, most recently serving as Pastor of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Harrisburg from 2004 until 2008. Throughout his life, including his retirement, he was an ardent advocate for peace and social justice. He was the Chair of the Central Pennsylvania Board of Church and Society and was active with many other organizations as a board and committee member.
Robert was a 1951 graduate of Shamokin High School and a 1955 graduate of Lycoming College. In 1958 he received his Master of Divinity from the Drew University School of Theology, N.J., and in 1976 he also received his Doctor of Ministry from Drew. Robert served active duty as a US Navy Chaplain from 1960-1962. During his years of Naval reserve duty he attained the rank of Commander.
Robert is survived by his wife of 50 years, Martha Getman Zanker whom he married on August 17, 1957; a daughter, Paula M. Kurtz wife of Michael of Yelm, WA; two sons, Timothy M. Zanker husband of Ronda of Columbia, MD and Eric R. Zanker husband of Nancie of Harrisburg; and four grandchildren, Kristina Zanker, Cory Zanker, Nichole Kurtz and Robert Pahl.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, March 8, 2008, at 1:30 PM in the Calvary United Methodist Church, 4700 Locust Lane, Harrisburg, with The Rev. Dr. Harold E. Posey, The Rev. Dr. James H. Zeisloft and The Rev. Dr. Ronald Parks officiating. Inurnment will be in the Northumberland Memorial Park at the convenience of the family. Visitation will be held at the church Saturday from 12:30 PM until time of the services.
Trefz & Bowser Funeral Home, Inc., 114 West Main Street, Hummelstown, is handling the arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Mark’s United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, 3985 North Second Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110.