On Monday January 4, 2021, Doug Zachau passed away at the age of 89 from complications of COVID-19. Doug was the devoted husband of Emmie (nee Daniels), the loving father of three children, of six grandchildren, and of a great grandson. Doug was born on July 20, 1931 to Louis and Marion Zachau in Kearny, New Jersey. He was raised in Nutley, New Jersey. Doug and Emmie began their 66 years of marriage in New Jersey. In 1965 Doug and Emmie moved from New Jersey to Gulph Mills Pennsylvania where they built a home and continued to raise their family. Family was most important to Doug, as it was to Emmie, and he always placed his wife, children, and their children first during his journey as a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a great-grandfather. Nothing came before family for Doug, ever.
Doug is a 1949 graduate of Nutley (N.J.) High School and a 1962 graduate of the Newark (N.J.) College of Engineering, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering through night school. In those early years Doug worked as a lineman for Public Service in Newark, N.J.. After college Doug was hired by Eltra Corporation and swiftly rose through the ranks from District Manager eventually to National Sales Manager of the C & D Batteries Division, headquartered in Plymouth Meeting, PA. Doug retired from C & D Batteries in 2000.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Doug was highly talented and knowledgeable around the family home. Over the years he built a patio complete with a brick wall, an additional room onto the home, and an outbuilding on the property affectionally known as the “little red house.”
Doug also had a lifelong strong interest in anything military. Doug served in the Army from 1952 until his honorable discharge in 1954 at the rank of corporal from Fort Jackson, SC. If anyone asked Doug what was one of the best things that ever happened to him, he would provide an answer that may surprise many. In his own words, here is his answer to that question:
“I have said in the past one of the best things that happened to me---and there were several---was to be drafted in 1952 into the US Army. Why you might ask?? Well # 1, and the most important thing, was I met your Mom (Emmie). #2, I didn't have much $ and my parents were not wealthy, not even close, but the G.I. Bill gave me the opportunity to go to night school. Yeah it took 8 years, 4 nights a week, where I earned my degree in Electrical Engineering. That piece of paper opened doors for me and allowed me to do things that otherwise would never have been possible. On top of that I have 3 great kids and that is only the start. We were, in my humble opinion, a close loving family and still are. Oh, there were some down times over the years but as a family we thrived and have grown closer to each other. Without getting too tear eyed I have had a wonderful life and, in my heart, I may have done things a little better BUT I did do my best and feel we all have come out of this as a wonderful family.”
Doug spent his final year of life as a resident at the Bryn Mawr Terrace Assisted Living Facility, along with Emmie, until her death on July 5, 2020. There he met many people that became special to him. Most important for him was crossing paths with Sharon Major, Director of Marketing and Community Relations at Bryn Mawr Terrace. Sharon did much to brighten Doug’s final year of life, and we consider her family as Doug did.
Doug was preceded in death by his parents and his wife, Emmie. He is survived by his daughter Beth Bumbier, his sons Geoffrey and David, his granddaughters Christina Tayvinsky, Jennifer Bumbier, Jessica Zachau, Molly Zachau, Brandi Schuettler, his grandson Alex Santantonio, and great-grandson Jayson Zachau.
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