Eugene M. Zehner of Lanham Maryland passed away June 21, 2023 at the age of 96.
He was born on April 27 1927 in Gerolzhofen, Germany to Maria (Frederich) and Martin Zehner. He immigrated to the United States in 1928 with his family and spent the majority of his younger years on the family farm established in 1936 in Davidsonville, Maryland.
He is survived by his beloved wife of seventy one years, Rita Zehner. He was the loving father of four sons; Donald (MaryAnn) Zehner of Dover, PA, David Zehner of Lanham, MD, Eugene Jr. “Mickey” (Sharon) Zehner of Davidsonville, MD, Jimmy Zehner of Lanham, MD; grandchildren: Lissah Zehner of Davidsonville, MD, Madeline (Cory Gilbert) Zehner of Henderson, MD; nephew Martin (Wynee) Zehner of Millsboro, DE; niece Elaine Zehner of Sunderland, MD; and beloved friend of Beverly Minnick of Fulton MD.
He was the brother of the late Martin Zehner Jr. of Davidsonville, MD and the late Fred Zehner of Huntingtown, MD.
Eugene attended Annapolis High School and was schooled in vocations. He was a WWII honorably discharged veteran of the United States Army Air Corps. He was a member of the Isaac Walton League, Hyattsville chapter, where he served as the secretary for many years. He was a long time faithful member of St. Mathias Catholic Church in Lanham, MD.
He started working as a mechanic in Davidsonville for Miller Garage. Pete Miller was a cherished teacher for Eugene and was greatly appreciated for the knowledge that Pete imparted. Throughout his lifetime Eugene spoke fondly to others of how to do things the way Pete taught him and credited him for much of what he had learned. He went on to work as a mechanic for Packard Motor Company and mastered the art of doing body work just as he had mastered mechanics. His body work and painting ability earned him the honor of painting limousines for the White house. Eugene, who later in life was fondly known as “Doc” or Zeke” became well known for his ability to fix anything and everything. He was the existential “jack of all trades”, most learned through the “school of hard knocks”. Few people could keep up with his pace and he usually “out-walked” and certainly outworked his peers as a normal course. His resourcefulness was unprecedented. He acquired his electrician license and was a plumber apprentice. He routinely climbed trees and was a tree cutter to earn extra income for the family. He was a building maintenance engineer for forty two years at Lustine Chevrolet in Hyattsville, Md. His ability to uniquely tackle engineering repairs with ease gave him the nickname “Doc” and made him the invaluable resource he was for so many years at Lustine Chevrolet. Eugene was most proud of the management and leadership work he provided for Lustine as multiple large facilities were built.
The knowledge he gained from others he actively imparted on his sons daily as he kept them close by his side. He took them with him most everywhere he went and included them in whatever he was doing. Family was everything to him, and he made sure even as much as he worked to provide for his family, that he spent quality time with them including eating dinner together. He loved to fish and spend time outdoors. He spent many memorable fishing expeditions on the Chesapeake Bay with his family and friends. Camping trips, with fishing of course, were unforgettable treasured times spent with those he loved. Many times he brought home hundreds of fish which he then generously shared with neighbors, friends and those around him.
He was easy going, friendly and helpful. He was tirelessly selfless to others in need of his help. He went out of his way to advise and teach others how to fix things and how to be resourceful. He was a mentor to all. His unselfish mentorship changed the lives of those he touched and his legacy will live on forever in all those whom he lovingly taught.
Services are being held by Beall Funeral Home - 6512 Crain Hwy. Bowie, Maryland 20715
Visitation Wednesday June 28, 2023 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Funeral - Mass Service held Thursday, June 29, 2023
St. Matthias Catholic Church - 9475 Annapolis Road, Lanham. Maryland 20706
If so desired, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Matthias Catholic Church, Lanham, Maryland in his name.